$2.8M Verdict in Plane Crash Death in Product Liability Case

April 25th, 2017

By Dean I. Weitzman, Esq.


The wife of a U.S. Forest Service employee who died in 2010 when the chartered plane he was flying in suffered a catastrophic engine failure and crashed in Lock Haven, Pa., has been awarded a $2.75 million verdict by a federal jury.

Daniel Snider, who was 30 at the time of the incident, died on June 21, 2010, when the Cessna T210L aircraft he was a passenger in crashed on a residential street in Lock Haven, short of a nearby airport runway, due to engine problems which caused engine failure, according to a Feb. 22 story on

The plane had been on a flight to map out surveys of aerial deforestation caused by insects after leaving Clarion, Pa., earlier that day. As the single-engine Cessna headed for Lock Haven to stop for fuel following the surveying, the engine failed, sending the plane to the ground where it crashed into a house and caught on fire. Snider and a pilot and another Forest Service employee died in the crash.

Snider’s wife, Elizabeth, filed a product liability lawsuit in connection with the crash, alleging that the plane’s engine included a manufacturing defect in the cylinder heads of the powerplant, which eventually caused the engine to fail. The TSI0-520-H engine, which was manufactured by Continental Motors Co. was originally installed in the plane in 1973 and was later rebuilt in 2004.

According to the complaint, the exhaust valve guides in the engine, which were installed during a 2004 overhaul, “were too soft and failed,” the story reported. “Their fracture ‘initiated a series of events that caused the failure of the engine,'” according to the plaintiff’s complaint.

1 17 14 by courtneyk from iStock 000023903474XSmall 300x199

Photo credit:

The plaintiffs also alleged that Continental knew that an oil lubrication hole was missing on a rocker arm in the engine, which prevented oil from properly lubricating the parts, and that the exhaust valve guides used in the engine typically wore out before their expected lifespan, which led to the engine failure.

In deciding the case, the jury found that there was a manufacturing defect in the cylinder head assembly of the Continental Motors’ engine and that it did not contain proper instructions and warnings for its reassembly during the overhaul, according to a report in The Legal Intelligencer.

The case was heard in U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. The owners of the plane, Sterling Airways, were found to be not liable in the lawsuit.

These kinds of tragic legal cases occur every day when innocent victims are severely hurt or killed due to defective products, vehicle crashes and a wide range of other incidents through no fault of their own due to the actions, inattentiveness or indifference of others. That’s why it is critical to have a legal team on your side that uncovers every fact to bolster your case and maximize your damage award.

We here at MyPhillyLawyer stand ready to assist you with your legal case if you or a loved one is ever seriously injured in a product liability or personal injury case or a vehicle incident or accident anywhere in the United States.

We represent the families of victims who die in such tragedies as well, to ensure that their families receive every penny of damages that they are eligible to receive.

Call MyPhillyLawyer at 215-227-2727 or toll-free at 1-(866) 352-4572 anytime and our experienced, compassionate, aggressive team of attorneys and support staff will be there for you and your family every step of the way as we manage your case through the legal system.

When Winning Matters Most, Call MyPhillyLawyer.

Our record of success

Over $500 Million Recovered

$80 Million

Transvaginal mesh jury verdict

$20 Million


$6.75 Million