Founded by Aaron Podhurst and Robert Orseck in 1967, Miami-based Podhurst Orseck, P.A., is a top-flight boutique trial and appellate firm with a global reputation for its tort litigation involving aviation, complex commercial and class action, white collar defense, and personal injury.
By: Vickie Chachere, Executive Editor, Florida Trend
Fifty years ago, the crash of an Eastern Airlines jetliner into the Everglades thrust Miami attorney Aaron Podhurst into the center of the victims’ case against the airline. He’s since built one of the world’s leading air crash litigation firms while serving as a steady presence amid unimaginable events.
Just before midnight on Dec. 29, 1972, a clear and moonless night, Eastern Airlines Flight 401 prepared to land at Miami International Airport. It had been an uneventful flight from New York JFK, but as the crew prepared for landing, a burned-out landing gear indicator light confused them. As they swung the jet back west over the Everglades to buy time to sort out whether the aircraft’s landing gear was deployed, the crew failed to notice the autopilot had been disengaged. No one was flying the plane.
Eight minutes and seven panicky seconds later, the aircraft crashed into the black mud and water of the Everglades. Of the 176 passengers and crew members on board that night, 101 lost their lives.
Life for Aaron Podhurst, a Miami attorney who was safe on the ground that night, was never the same again too.