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Heath v. Swift Wings, Inc.

Court of Appeals of North Carolina
252 S.E.2d 526 (N.C. App. 1979)


Facts

Fred Heath was the pilot of a plane when it crashed immediately after takeoff. Fred, his wife, Jonna, his son, Karl, and a family friend were all killed in the crash. Richard Heath (plaintiff), administrator of the estates of Jonna and Karl brought a negligence suit against (1) Swift Wings, the corporate owner of the plane, (2) the four shareholders of Swift Wings, including Fred, and (3) the executor of Fred’s estate (defendants). The trial court instructed the jury that negligence is the failure to exercise the standard of care that an ordinary pilot having Fred’s training would have. The jury found that Fred was not negligent, in favor of the defendants. Richard appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Morris, C.J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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