On March 5th, 2015, a flight from Atlanta heading toward LaGuardia Airport in New York faced a rather slippery, snow-covered runway while attempting to land. After skidding a long distance, the plane smashed through the airport’s boundary fence and, fortunately, stopped short of the edge of Flushing Bay. Only six passengers were injured in the incident, all minor injuries, and property damage was also minimal.
However, despite the good fortune of everyone involved, what if the situation had turned out much worse? What if the injuries had been severe or lives were lost? What if the plane had actually fallen into the bay? Who would have been held responsible?
In these types of accidents, negligence on behalf of an involved party must be established to answer these questions. Some extreme examples include:
- The pilot – Perhaps a pilot was fatigued and lacked the necessary focus to get everyone to their destination safely, in which case he/she breached the duty of care to passengers on the flight. Airlines, as “common carriers,” have a higher-than-average duty of care than most businesses.
- The plane – Although defects in planes or specific parts are almost always identified in advance, they still develop for a variety of reasons, often over time and sometimes abruptly. For example, a passenger may have a product liability case if a defective overhead door comes unlatched during flight, allowing heavy luggage to fall out onto him/her.
- The crew – Like the pilots, the crew also owes a certain duty of care to passengers. If, perhaps, a defective overhead door was left open in a negligent manner by a crew member, liability may shift should a passenger suffer an injury in an accident.
- The airport/runway – Runway crew members are generally responsible for keeping runways clear and safe for all planes to land. If there is snow covering the landing zone, they must clear it; if thick ice coats the runway and cannot be removed, liability may be difficult to determine and may eventually fall on the airport itself if such serious risks are present.
- The injured party – Some self-proclaimed negligence victims who are highly determined to place blame for their injuries are not always so sincere, and it’s often discovered that their own negligence was actually the cause of their injuries; a common example would be disobeying the “fasten seat-belt” sign.
- Over-running a runway is among the most common types of accidents involving airplanes and, unfortunately, does occasionally lead to casualties. In such an event, a wrongful death claim involving negligence may be in order. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury or loss of any sort due to negligence on behalf of an airport, airline, or similar entity, contact Mike Agruss Law for a free consultation.
We are a Chicago-based injury law firm representing individuals (and their families) who have suffered an injury in an accident. We will handle your case quickly and advise you every step of the way, and we will not hesitate to go to trial for you.
Lastly, Mike Agruss Law is not paid attorneys’ fees unless we win your case. Our no-fee promise is that simple. You have nothing to risk when you hire us – only the opportunity to seek justice.