Eric A. Cunningham III


Of Counsel

 

Overview

Eric Cunningham draws upon his extensive complex litigation skills and aerospace law acumen in representing clients across the aerospace industry. He has vast experience litigating myriad aviation matters, from cases arising out of domestic and foreign aerospace disasters, to general aviation crashes,  to business and insurance disputes involving participants in the aerospace industry.  The breadth of Eric’s aerospace work includes his representation of product/component manufacturers, maintenance facilities, airlines, pilots, airports and insurers.   In addition to his accident-related defense work, Eric also handles  commercial disputes, including in aviation and insurance, together with a general practice serving various industries.  Eric’s background as an aircraft owner and pilot enhances his ability to address technical details with experts, yet simplify the issues for explanation and adjudication.

Representative Experience

  • Defending component manufacturer in first ever case arising from fly-by-wire developmental helicopter crash involving fatalities
  • Prevailed on dispositive motion defending wrongful death case alleging negligence of airborne law enforcement unit
  • Obtained dismissals without payment for maintenance facility alleged to have caused major hull loss, and for avionics manufacturer in a number of cases across the USA
  • Defended first ever wrongful death case implicating exceptionally complex cutting-edge avionics/AFCS platform
  • Secured summary judgment at trial court level, affirmed on appeal, in major aviation coverage litigation
  • Prevailed for foreign aviation engine manufacturer on personal jurisdictional argument in federal court
  • Moved for summary judgment for aviation insurer client, setting new precedent regarding effect of pilot endorsements
  • Negotiated settlement providing more money on airport client’s counterclaim than on plaintiff’s claim
  • Obtained de minimis settlement for component manufacturer in high-exposure wrongful death airplane crash case

Reported Decisions

  • Hund v. Nat’l Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh, PA, 376 F.Supp.3d 1222 (D. Kan. 2019)
  • Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s London v. Garmin Int’l, Inc., 781 F.3d 1226 (10th Cir. 2015)
  • Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s London v. Garmin Int’l Inc., LEXIS 98186 (D.Kan. 2013)
  • Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s London v. Garmin Int’l, Inc., LEXIS 164243 (D.Kan. 2013) (unpublished)
  • Mio v. Alberto-Culver Co., 306 Ill. App. 3d 822 (Ill.App. 1999)
  • North Am. Specialty Ins. Co. v. Myers, 111 F.3d 1273 (6th Cir. 1997)
  • Cheng v. United Airlines, LEXIS 1140 (N.D.Ill. 1995) (unpublished)
  • Cheng v. United Air Lines, LEXIS 6943 (N.D.Ill. 1995) (unpublished)
  • Peters v. Amr Corp., LEXIS 8086 (N.D.Ill. 1995) (unpublished)
  • Barrett v. United Airlines, Inc., 1994 WL 419637 (N.D. Ill. 1994)

Professional Affiliations and Recognitions

  • Member, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, Air and Space Law Forum
  • Member, Tort Trial and Insurance Practice
  • Member, Aviation Insurance Association
  • Member, Lawyer-Pilots Bar Association
  • Member, Experimental Aircraft Association

Publications

  • Contributing Author: Section on “Glass Panel Transitions: Law Emerging from the Cutting Edge,” SMU Air Law Symposium Compendium (March 2016)
  • Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress in Air Crash Cases: A New Flight Path?, 70 Wash.U.L.Q. 935

Presentations

  • Speaker: “Glass Panel Transitions: Law Emerging from the Cutting Edge” SMU Air Law Symposium (March 2016)