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Trends in Aviation Litigation and Reflections on Boeing Liability for the 737 MAX Crashes

(118 reviews)

Produced on August 22, 2019

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Course Information

Time 1h 2m
Difficulty Intermediate
Topics covered in this course: Aviation

Course Description

Aviation and maritime attorney Christopher Kende of Cozen O’Connor LLP will discuss recent trends in aviation litigation under the Montreal Convention, particularly with respect to claims for emotional distress and other types of non-compensatory damages in the wake of several recent important decisions. Mr. Kende will also reflect on the potential liability of Boeing as a result of the 737 MAX crashes, the grounding of numerous 737 MAX aircraft, and other exposures both civil and criminal which the Boeing company may be subject to.  

It is recommended that attendees have at least some familiarity with the Montreal Convention or have watched Mr. Kende’s earlier CLE on the overview of the Montreal Convention, which is available on Lawline.  Although complete familiarity with the Convention is not critical, some understanding of the liability scheme under the Montreal Convention will be beneficial.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Provide in very brief detail an overview of the Montreal Convention liability scheme
  2. Discuss recent decisions which have eroded the strict requirement that physical injury accompany any claim for emotional distress
  3. Gain a general understanding of the exposures which the Boeing company may be liable for as a result of the 737 MAX crashes and problems resulting therefrom

Credit Information

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Christopher Kende

Cozen O'Connor P.C.

Christopher B. Kende focuses his practice on international insurance, reinsurance, aviation and marine matters.

Christopher has more than 30 years of experience in handling major complex multinational litigation in the areas of insurance, reinsurance, environmental law, aviation and admiralty and maritime disputes. His experience includes virtually every aspect of pre-trial, trial and post-trial proceedings in state and federal courts around the country.

Christopher is a former member of the Foreign and Comparative Law Committee of the New York City Bar Association and is past president of the Maritime Law Committee of the New York County Lawyers Association and the Admiralty and Maritime Law Commission of the Union Internationale des Avocats (UIA). Christopher is also past president of the Insurance Law Commission of the UIA and serves on the International Organizations, Conventions and Standards Committee of the Maritime Law Association of the United States. He is on the board of directors of the New York Chapter of the French American Chamber of Commerce.

Christopher has a combined B.A. and M.A. degree from Brown University and a J.D. from New York University School of Law. He is fluent in French.


  • Acted for native regional and village corporations in Prince William Sound in the EXXON VALDEZ oil spill actions in state and federal court in Alaska.
  • Provided reinsurance advice to the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, a federal agency, in connection with several major transactions involving political risk insurance, including assistance in the structuring of a worldwide facility offering political risk, currency conversion and expropriation cover based in Bermuda.
  • Acted for several major carriers in asbestos and hazardous waste site coverage cases.
  • Acted for several large foreign reinsurers in connection with matters ranging from advice on treaty wording to litigation and arbitration involving first party property insurance, reinsurance of complex financial products, insurance-backed film financing, catastrophic business interruption losses, cargo and hull cover and health and medical reinsurance.
  • Successfully represented the French government in the AMOCO CADIZ oil spill litigation which involved the largest shoreline pollution in history.


John M.

A very thorough discussion of liability trends, as well as clear explanations of recent court cases.

Andrew A.

Great Presentation!

Andrew B.

Very interesting.

Anthony M.

Very informative.

Jeffrey R.

Very interesting presentation!

Robert E. S.

Very interesting and well presented program. Gave me great insight into an area in which I have only some knowledge.

Faye T.

Truly excellent speaker as to both substance and presentation.

Jeff A.

Interesting torts application.

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