11th Circuit Court Appeal Win: Government Contractor Defense and Death On the High Seas Act (DOHSA)

11th Circuit Court Appeal Win: Government Contractor Defense and Death On the High Seas Act (DOHSA)

Attorneys Michael Schofield and James Green, Jr.

November 20, 2020 – The law firm of Clark Partington and partner Michael J. Schofield, Florida Board Certified Aviation Specialist, together with partner James R. Green, Jr., were recently successful in an appeal before the 11th Circuit Court that resulted in a published Opinion concerning the Government Contractor Defense and Death On the High Seas Act (DOHSA). The firm successfully represented a government contractor in a complex military aviation case involving the unfortunate and tragic death of a former military pilot working for the Department of Defense as a civilian pilot at the time of the accident. The firm successfully pursued and compiled the evidence which showed that the contractor met all applicable regulations, procedures, and performed its job properly, which resulted in a finding of immunity under the Government Contractor Defense. Additionally, since the accident occurred offshore and outside of any states’ territorial waters, the firm successfully presented evidence supporting a finding of the application of the DOHSA and admiralty jurisdiction. The Orders in favor of the firm’s client were made at the U.S. District Court level, and those orders were appealed to the 11th Circuit Court by Plaintiff. Following briefing and oral argument, the 11th Circuit AFFIRMED the District Court’s findings and ruling in favor of the firm’s client. We congratulate our partners on this successful defense!

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Michael J. Schofield is a Clark Partington Shareholder.  He regularly represents those involved with the aviation, transportation, personal injury, products liability and insurance law, as well as arbitration and mediation, in public and private projects throughout Florida, Alabama, and beyond, in state and federal courts.

Michael has also been recognized as an AV-rated in the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory.  He is panel counsel for Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), Lawyers – Pilots Bar, IATSB , a member of Florida Defense Lawyers Association, Defense Research Institute, and IADC.  He is also a member of Alabama Defense Lawyers Association, Florida Defense Lawyers Association, Florida Law Alliance, National Business Aviation Association. Contact Mike at 850-208-7062 or mschofield@clarkpartington.com.

James (“Jim”) R. Green is a Clark Partington Shareholder whose practice focuses on civil litigation.  Jim regularly represents clients in estate litigation, trust litigation, personal injury matters, aviation litigation, defamation claims, and insurance coverage disputes. He has tried several cases to a jury verdict in favor of his clients and he has obtained favorable judgments for his clients in bench trials.  Jim’s experience enables him to analyze a broad array of cases and provide his clients the advice and insight necessary to successfully navigate their legal disputes. Contact Jim at 850-208-7019 or jgreen@clarkpartington.com.

About Clark Partington:

Clark Partington is the largest business focused firm in the Florida panhandle with offices in Pensacola, Destin, Grayton Beach & Tallahassee.  The firm also maintains a presence in South Alabama with an Orange Beach office. Since 1976 Clark Partington has grown to over forty lawyers and has served the people and businesses of Florida through an innovative and collaborative approach to practicing law. Our lawyers are consistently recognized for their service to the profession and excellence in the courtroom.  More information about the firm’s practice, its attorneys, and recognitions may be found at www.clarkpartington.com.