Got immunity?

What's wrong with lawyers calling for more laws to put some lawyers out of work?

In the new commercial spaceflight industry, naturally, this happens all the time.

Just another example, AP (via MSNBC) reports on one of the
ISDC sessions in Dallas in which air and space lawyer Doug Griffith (that's a picture of him in a flight suit which I swiped off his website), an experienced military and private pilot who has litigated his share of aviation accidents, advises space tourism companies to "lobby for immunity legislation and, if there is a crash, be contrite and treat victims' families well."

Good advice.

Here is an example of the type of legislation Doug is talking about:
Virginia Spaceflight Liability and Immunity Act (effective July 1, 2007).

Doug also advised, "companies can protect themselves from lawsuits by advertising the dangers of space travel — but that might turn off customers." Indeed. (On the other hand, it might also turn on some....)

By the way, if you missed him at the conference, you can
listen to Doug on The Space Show talking about spaceflight liability, waivers and lots of juicy insurance issues. (April 3, 2007)

The article also quotes Alex Tai, Virgin Galactic chief operating officer -- much cooler than a lawyer -- who also spoke at ISDC about the "inevitable disaster." (Which you my interpret as either a crash, or litigation after a crash.) Alex said he believes space tourism companies can survive it if they warn passengers of the risks the spaceship could crash. He said "customers who are given an honest assessment of the risks will not be able to successfully sue operators after a crash. And he noted "the public understands the danger of space travel after two disasters involving NASA-operated space shuttles."

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