A Delaware aviation company is suing Cozen O’Connor over a damaged airplane that never got repaired.
Blue Water Aviation Inc. and Aero Ways Inc. have filed a complaint in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas against Cozen O’Connor, alleging legal malpractice. They are also suing their insurer, Global Aerospace Inc., alleging breach of policy and bad faith.
They’re seeking damages to compensate for their inability to use a Bombardier Challenger CL-601-1A airplane since July 2013, as well as legal fees and punitive damages. Aero Ways had been leasing the plane from Blue Water when it was damaged.
Aero Ways retained Cozen O’Connor to recover for the airplane damages and resulting financial losses, after “a series of accidents” at the Bob Hope International Airport in California, the complaint said. The accidents left the airplane un-flyable, the complaint said, but Aero Ways’ insurer, Global, said it would not fully repair the damage.
“Global was inclined only to approve a lesser repair that was analogous to hammering out a dent in a car door,” the complaint alleged.
Aero Ways and Blue Water alleged that Cozen O’Connor gave poor advice—to sue the Bob Hope airport and the airplane maintenance company located there. Instead, the complaint alleged, the firm should have advised them to “aggressively pursue Global to make good on its duty to repair the aircraft.”
“Cozen O’Connor’s advice was inexplicable because, to the extent that Aero Ways was pursuing the lawsuit as a means to get the aircraft back into the air as quickly as possible, that goal was more likely to be achieved by Aero Ways aggressively pursuing coverage, or fixing the aircraft itself,” the complaint said.
The firm also failed to explain that Blue Water’s primary claim should be against Aero Ways, which was obligated by the lease to fix the plane, the complaint said. And, the plaintiffs alleged, Cozen failed to advise Blue Water that because the firm represented Aero Ways, representing Blue Water would be a conflict of interest.
When Global, the insurer, had a change of heart and offered to replace the broken plane wing, Cozen O’Connor requested an appraisal of the plane, the complaint said, which Global took as a rejection of the offer.
The plane still has not been repaired, the complaint said.
Daniel Harrington of Cozen O’Connor, who is representing the firm, declined to comment on the complaint.
Clifford Haines, who is representing the plaintiffs, did not return a call seeking comment Thursday. Robert Williams of Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis, who is representing Global, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.