Drone risks create new legal challenges

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Date: Sept. 2017
From: Risk Management(Vol. 64, Issue 8)
Publisher: Sabinet Online
Document Type: Article
Length: 764 words
Lexile Measure: 1520L

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When the "drone era" began, the conventional wisdom was that drones represented a linear expansion of aviation legal practice and that tried and true principles that had gone in to pursuing or defending aviation claims would translate easily into drone accident litigation. In reality, little was known about what "drone law" would mean. The regulations were a work in progress, the technology was still developing and the application of aviation legal principles to the issues in future drone litigation were a matter of speculation. Much of this remains true, even though the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has implemented new regulations and the technology has advanced to the point where a significant increase in commercial use can soon be anticipated. These uncertainties raise significant questions about how a drone claim should be defended.

For example, the first line of defense in most aviation cases is federal preemption--the idea that any state-based claim is preempted by federal regulations. This defense is useful in that showing compliance with federal regulations can be easier than defending against general, less-defined claims under state law. In order for that defense to work, however, one of two things...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A504858656