Recovery of Non-Economic Damages

Recovery of Non-Economic Damages

- Under what circumstances is recovery permitted for pain and suffering, loss of consortium, loss of society, post-traumatic stress disorder and other non-economic damages?
- How do the new Surface Damage Liability Conventions on air operator liability change the rule on recovery for emotional damages vis-à-vis the Warsaw/Montreal regime for air carrier liability?
- How does damage recovery against air carriers under the Warsaw/Montreal Conventions differ from recovery against other defendants (such as aircraft manufacturers) under domestic law?

Chair : Bruce Garrow (Borden Ladner Gervais Llp, Toronto)

Speakers :
James Healy-Pratt
(Stewarts Law Llp, London)
Louise-Hélène Sénécal (Air Canada, Montreal)
David Willcox (Clyde & Co Llp, London)
Judy Nemsick (Holland & Knight Llp, New York)

Pictures (click here)

Bruce Garrow

Bruce Garrow Bruce Garrow is the senior member and head of the Firm's National Aviation Group. He is recognized as a leading practitioner of aviation law in Canada. Bruce joined the firm as a partner in the Toronto office in 1995. He was admitted to the Bar of Ontario in 1979 and the Bar of British Columbia in 1984. In 1995, Bruce was certified as a specialist in civil litigation by the Law Society of Upper Canada, a distinction he continues to hold. Bruce is a graduate of McGill Law School and received his Master of Laws from McGill's Institute of Air and Space Law. He has also completed the Harvard Law School 's programs in negotiation and mediation. He is a past lecturer on aviation law at the University of Toronto Professional Pilot and Aviation Management Program, and is a current member of the executive of the Canadian Bar Association - National Air Law Section.

Bruce's practice focuses on aviation and product liability law. He acts for owners, operators and manufacturers of aircraft and aviation products, aircraft maintenance and ground handling service providers, and their insurers. He also provides advice to aviation insurers on coverage issues. Bruce's product liability practice also extends to the energy and pharmaceutical sectors. He routinely acts for utilities, natural gas and LP gas distributors, and related equipment manufacturers. He has also acted for pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors.

Selected by peers for inclusion in the 2010 edition of The Best Lawyers in Canada (Aviation Law)

Bruce is a respected trial and appellate counsel with 30 years of experience before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, the Court of Appeal for Ontario, the Supreme Court of British Columbia and the Federal Court of Canada. He has also appeared as counsel at the Commission of Inquiry into Aviation Safety in Canada and the Commission of Inquiry into the Blood Supply. He has acted as counsel in major air crash cases and Transportation Safety Board investigations throughout Canada. In 1987, he was appointed Crown Agent for the Transportation Safety Board of Canada. Bruce is also experienced in ADR techniques, and frequently acts as counsel in mediations.

Bruce is a former chairman of the Air Law Section of the CBA ( Ontario ) and is a member of the executive of the National Air Law Section of the Canadian Bar Association. He is the author of articles on substantive and procedural aviation law, and currently lectures on aviation law at the University of Toronto, Professional Pilot and Aviation Management Program. Bruce is an avid runner, skier and sailor. He completed the Boston Marathon in 2000, and often runs in charity fundraisers.

James Healy-Pratt

James Healy-Pratt James is head of Aviation at Stewarts Law LLP and is an attorney dual qualified in England and New York. Between 1992 and 2000 he was senior legal advisor to Global Aerospace Underwriting Managers, the largest aviation insurer. In 2000 he moved to become General Counsel at Amlin Plc. Amlin Syndicate 2001 was the largest underwriter at Lloyd's of London. James has had 18 years extensive international experience of investigating and resolving international airline disasters. James' move from aviation insurance to plaintiff aviation in 2006 gives him unprecedented knowledge of the aviation insurance and reinsurance industry.

James has flown Robinson R22 and R44 helicopters, and is currently completing his PPL H on a Eurocopter Turbine EC120 helicopter, following which he plans to become type rated on the Eurocopter AS350 and AS355.

James is described by the Legal 500 as “one of the leading lawyers in the world in this area”, The Chambers guide for 2009 describes James Healy-Pratt as "a dominant force", and being "simply and unequivocally on top of his game". In the Chambers guide for 2010, aviation insurance sources “highlight his expertise in achieving multi-million pound settlements across the globe”.

Louise-Hélène Sénécal

Louise-Hélène Sénécal graduated from the Faculty of Law of the Université de Montréal in 1981, where she obtained an L.L.L in Civil Law. She was admitted to the Bar of Quebec in 1982 and began her career in private practice.
In 1989, she joined the legal department of Air Canada, where she is presently Assistant General Counsel-Litigation, responsible for all litigation, insured or not, against Air Canada, worldwide, including regulatory litigation, and is a key member of the Emergency Response Team. She provides legal services for all aspects of Security in the airline. She also heads the General Claims department. In May of 1999, she was part of the Canadian Delegation to the ICAO Diplomatic Conference, which resulted in the adoption of the new Montreal Convention (MC99).
In June of 2007, she was special advisor to IATA during the ICAO Working Group sessions on the modernization of the Rome Convention and was part of the Canadian Delegation to the ICAO Diplomatic Conference in Montreal, held in April of 2009 and which lead to the adoption of the two successor conventions to the Rome Convention (the “Unlawful Interference Convention” and the “General Risk Convention”). From 1994 to 2000, Ms. Sénécal presided the Bar of Quebec Disciplinary Committee (Ethics tribunal). Ms. Sénécal is also a trade-marks agent.

David Willcox

David Willcox David is a partner in the aviation and aerospace group. He has been at Beaumont and Son since 1979, becoming a partner in the firm in 1987 and with Clyde & Co as a partner since 2005. David studied law at Sheffield University, taking a 2:1 honours degree in 1978.

His area of practice comprises the handling of all types of aviation liability claims and insurance disputes.

David undertakes major aviation catastrophe work, including the management of complex multi-jurisdictional claims, litigation arising from ground and mid-air collisions and has pursued a number of high profile subrogation actions against aircraft or component manufacturers.

David is a previous examiner in aviation law for the Chartered Insurance Institute.

David has recently been involved in dealing with major aviation accidents in Africa, Russia, Europe and the Middle East. David has experience of handling cases to the highest appellate court in the UK (House of Lords) in the case of King v Bristow Helicopters, a case dealing with the issue recoverability of non-physical injuries under Article 17 of the Warsaw Convention and has also fought cases on the issue of anti-suit declarations, including the cases of Bristow Helicopters Limited v Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation (2004) and Sabena v Messier Dowty (2000).

Judith R. "Judy" Nemsick

Judith Nemsick Judy Nemsick is a Partner in the Litigation Practice Group of Holland & Knight's New York office. Her practice is focused primarily on complex litigation matters, with emphasis on air disaster litigation, class-action lawsuits, and privacy issues. She is part of the team representing Air France in multidistrict litigation arising out of the Flight 447 accident in the mid-Atlantic Ocean, and has represented air carriers in past litigation relating to the American Airlines Flight 587 accident near Belle Harbor, New York and the Swissair Flight 111 accident near Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia.

She has significant experience representing U.S. and foreign air carriers in civil litigation, including claims involving wrongful death and personal injury, premises liability, passenger delay, cargo liability, and breach of contract. Ms. Nemsick's appellate experience includes successfully serving as co-lead counsel in El Al Israel Airlines, Ltd. v. Tseng, 525 U.S. 155 (1999), and in Privacy Rights Clearinghouse v. JetBlue Airways Corp., 2005 WL 3118798 (Cal. App. Nov. 22, 2005).

Ms. Nemsick also counsels airlines on a variety of commercial and civil matters, including contracts of carriage, charter contracts, ground-handling agreements, airline training materials, the Air Carrier Access Act, frequent flyer programs, and family assistance plans. She has written articles on various aviation-related topics, including federal preemption, choice of law, privacy rights, the Warsaw and Montreal Conventions, and forum non conveniens. She authored the chapter "Navigating Through the Chaos of a Choice of Law Analysis in Aviation Accident Litigation" for the ABA treatise Litigating the Aviation Case From Pre-Trial to Closing Argument (3d ed. 2008).

Ms. Nemsick currently serves as an editor of Holland & Knight's aviation newsletter Centerline, and is the Coordinator in New York for Holland & Knight's Women's Initiative. She also is a member of the International Aviation Women's Association (IAWA).

Click on the thumbnail to view a larger version of the pictures.


James Healy-Pratt, Bruce Garrow and David Willcox
Louise-Hélène Sénécal

Judith Nemsick


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