Mark S. Susina

Special Counsel  / Chicago

Mark Susina is an aviation litigation attorney with significant experience representing clients in the aviation and insurance industries. Mark’s practice has primarily focused on the defense of airlines, aircraft operators, aircraft and aviation component manufacturers, ground service providers,  and aircraft maintenance facilities, in tort litigation brought by injured plaintiffs or the estates of wrongful death victims.   In his lengthy career, Mark has appeared in the state and federal courts of nearly twenty states, in addition to his home state of Illinois.

Mark also has experience representing air carriers in matters arising out of damage, loss, and theft of cargo while in the carrier’s custody.  He has represented the interests of insurers in coverage matters (both in the aviation and construction industries) and represented all kinds of entities and individuals in contract and commercial litigation.  In addition to litigation, Mark has substantial experience resolving cases using alternative dispute resolution including mediation and arbitration.

From 2010 to 2012, Mark was co-chairman of the Chicago Bar Association’s Aviation Law Committee and has remained a member of the committee throughout his career.

Mark has strong ties to Chicago and the Chicagoland metropolitan area. He grew up in Chicago’s western suburbs, graduating from Benet Academy in 1982.  After attending college at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Mark returned to Chicago to attend law school at Loyola University Chicago and has been a resident of the City ever since.  Mark presently lives in the North Center neighborhood on Chicago’s north side.

  • Loyola University Chicago School of Law, J.D. 1989
  • Marquette University, B.A. Political Science, 1986
  • Illinois, 1989
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois 1989
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, 1991

The variety of aviation matters on which Mark has worked is as diverse as the industry itself.  Some examples of these are as follows:

  • Mark participated in the defense of major airlines in  high-profile accidents, including litigation brought by passengers claiming serious physical injuries or post-traumatic stress disorder;  he also represented these carriers in cases where the estates of deceased passengers had brought wrongful death claims.
  • Mark represented an aircraft maintenance facility  in litigation where a defective scissor lift collapsed while being used by a mechanic, causing him to fall from the nose of a Boeing 747 to the ground.
  • Mark assisted a team of lawyers representing company that marketed a light sport aircraft.  The canopy on the aircraft opened mid-flight (allegedly due to a defectively designed latch) and resulted in the pilot’s ejection from the aircraft and ultimate death.
  • Mark represented an aviation parts supplier in strict products liability litigation where  an air filter sold by the supplier was improperly installed (causing it to be ingested into the engine upon takeoff).  The ingestion resulted in engine power loss, and caused the aircraft to crash, killing the pilot.
  • Mark participated in the representation of several major airlines where passengers and crew alleged that “bleed air” or other toxic odors had entered the cabin, causing injury.
  • He represented a maintenance facility that had allegedly left foreign object debris inside an engine of a Boeing 737 aircraft, resulting in damage to the engine and loss of use of the aircraft.
  • Mark has represented several airlines in “emergency evacuation” cases over the years, where passengers alleged emotional trauma (but no physical injuries) as a result of evacuations.
  • He represented numerous air carriers in litigation arising out of the alleged negligent transport of elderly, disabled and handicapped persons.
  • He represented ground handling companies in cases arising out of forklift, tug and other GSE equipment accidents, involving both fatalities and serious injuries.
  • Mark represented cargo carriers in litigation arising out of the theft of several pallets of laptop computers, damage to both heavy industrial equipment and aircraft engines while being shipped, and even the value of ostriches had been shipped on a DC-8 aircraft from Alabama to the Peoples Republic of China.
  • He represented a major airline in litigation arising out of its cancellation of a customer’s pre-paid air pass, on grounds that the customer had violated of the conditions of sale.
  • Mark represented several airlines in putative class actions arising out of the airlines alleged failure to refund fares and baggage fees and provide adequate legroom.
  • He also assisted a team of lawyers in the representation of a major airport in toxic tort litigation involving groundwater contamination.

Mark S. Susina

E: [email protected]
T: 312.728.4908
F: 312.728.4950

10 South LaSalle Street
Suite 3400
Chicago, IL 60603

Message Mark: