When an injury has been caused on an airline's jet, the victim may have a claim against the airline AND possibly the manufacturer or assembler of the dangerous part

American Airlines jet catches fire on runway & enveloped in smoke; passengers file lawsuit

When an injury has been caused on an airline's jet, the victim may have a claim against the airline AND possibly the manufacturer or assembler of the dangerous part
When an injury has been caused on an airline’s jet, the victim may have a claim against the airline AND possibly the manufacturer or assembler of the dangerous part

When an aircraft is dangerous and causes harm, passengers can bring claims against the airlines and also the manufacturers and supplier of the component parts that make up the jet. Recently, eighteen people filed a lawsuit against American Airlines, General Electric and Boeing after their plane caught fire. The emergency occurred as it was lifting off from O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois last month according to a news source (click here for video of the fire).

Apparently twenty people suffered minor injuries on October 28th when American Airlines Flight 383 to Miami experienced an apparent engine failure. The jet engine fire started on the right side of the aircraft and passengers were taken off and onto the Air Operations Area (“AOA”). The passengers’ lawsuit claims the engine was constructed from defective material. Secondarily, the passengers further claimed that American Airlines employees were negligent during the evacuation of the airplane.

According to Herndon Virginia airport accident lawyer Doug Landau, passengers harmed while on board an aircraft may have claims for defective or dangerous products or manufacturing, and they may also have claims for the unsafe actions of airline personnel. The case against the airline employees can be brought separately from the case against the engine manufacturer or jet assembler. It is important to know where and when these lawsuits can be brought, so that the injured passenger’s case is not prejudiced. If you or someone you know or care for has been injured as the result of an airport runway terminal, airplane or other air travel related accident and there are questions about what laws apply, e-mail or call us at ABRAMS LANDAU, Ltd. (703-796-9555) at once.

An animal quarantine center at Dulles Airport could bring development to the "Western Lands" of Loudoun County, & equine industry jobs to Northern Virginia

Dulles Airport animal quarantine center in the “Western Lands” of Loudoun County, Virginia

An animal quarantine center at Dulles Airport could bring development to the "Western Lands" of Loudoun County, & equine industry jobs to Northern Virginia
An animal quarantine center at Dulles Airport could bring development to the “Western Lands” of Loudoun County, & equine industry jobs to Northern Virginia

Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (“MWAA”), the organization that manages Dulles International and Reagan National airports, is considering an animal import center for unused acreage at Dulles Airport.

A Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority spokeswoman confirmed this week that there have been discussions regarding an imported animal quarantine center at Dulles. Prior to being released to their owners, animals that enter the United States must be tested, and isolated for several weeks, in order to ensure they are free of diseases and parasites that could harm American livestock and poultry.

The only two facilities on the East Coast where imported animals are cared for and tested during isolation are in New York and Miami, according to news reports. The Virginia equine industry would like to see a third location in Virginia, namely at Dulles. This is not a new development. MWAA officials have been exploring opportunities to develop nearly 430 acres of Dulles airport property known as the “Western Lands” for years. Monetizing the Western Lands is part of MWAA’s strategy to produce non-aeronautical revenue to help offset billions in debt and the lagging airport traffic at Dulles, which is located in Loudoun County.

Loudoun houses more horses than any county in Virginia with approximately 15,000, and the equine industry creates nearly $140 million in annual economic activity, according to a 2015 University of Virginia study using 2013 statistics. “This animal import facility would help the Virginia equestrian industry, potentially increase equestrian-related tourism in the region, and would benefit Dulles Airport by adding to traffic in horses and related good product.

A model for the facility at Dulles could be the new, $50 million animal import center in New York – “The Ark” at JFK. With construction almost complete, the ARK will be the world’s only privately-owned animal handling cargo terminal and USDA-approved, full-service 24-hour airport quarantine facility for the import and export of horses, pets, birds and livestock, according to its website. However, Dulles Airport care attorney Doug Landau points out that the Virginia International airport has the advantage of being centrally located on the East Coast, with long runways and significant undeveloped acre in close proximity to the Middleburg and Charlottesville horse farms, as well as the nearby University of Virginia Equine Center. Clearly the “Western Lands” should be utilized in conjunction with Airport business so that the synergy can benefit MWAA, Loudoun County and the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Planes, tugs, cars, pedestrians, trucks, cushman carts & vans can crowd the runways on the Air Operations Area at Dulles Airport, Washington Reagan National  Airport & Baltimore Washington. Specials rules apply to accidents & injuries  on the AOA such that prompt investigation & preservation of evidence must take place as soon as possible.

Heavy Traffic on the Air Operations Area

Planes, tugs, cars, pedestrians, trucks, cushman carts & vans can crowd the runways on the Air Operations Area at Dulles Airport, Washington Reagan National Airport & Baltimore Washington. Specials rules apply to accidents & injuries on the AOA such that prompt investigation & preservation of evidence must take place as soon as possible.
Planes, tugs, cars, pedestrians, trucks, cushman carts & vans can crowd the runways on the Air Operations Area at Dulles Airport, Washington Reagan National Airport & Baltimore Washington. Specials rules apply to accidents & injuries on the AOA such that prompt investigation & preservation of evidence must take place as soon as possible.

With the increase in the number of flights, terminals, and international routes out of Dulles International Airport (“IAD”), there comes increased vehicle traffic, foot traffic, and aircraft traffic on the runways and around the gates of the Washington DC area airports. Airport workers must be extra careful when working on the “Air Operations Area,” the technical name for the runway areas and paved portions of the airport property that are beyond the “sterile,” TSA checkpoints. 

Because these workers cannot hear, because of large and engines, sometimes cannot see, because they work at night or in the early morning hours, cannot feel vibrations, because a large aircraft nearby, they are deprived of many of the senses that keep them safe at regular work place settings. That is why it is critical to secure competent, experienced legal counsel right away, as many lawyers do not know peculiar procedures that govern airport claims. For example, the regular county and city police are normally not allowed on the AOA to investigate accidents. Furthermore, the airport authority may call an accident record and “incident report.” ANd there are other aspects of airport injury claims that are specific to the Airport Operations Area. There are special time senssitive procedures that must be followed in order to get the evidence after an injury on airport grounds.

It is also critical to the success of the case to get witness information, secure evidence, and give the appropriate notice to the parties’ employer(s) and other involved authorities. Herndon lawyer Doug Landau seen many cases go down the drain because prompt action was not taken, or a lawyer did not get the evidence necessary to prove liability. Liability is the law’s way of saying, “whose fault was it ?” That is why the Herndon law firm ABRAMS LANDAU, Ltd. seeks out the evidence necessary to prove clients’ legal claims and the harms they have sustained due to the unsafe decisions of others at the airport.  If you or someone you know or care for has been injured as the result of an airport runway, pre-flight inspection, Airport Operations Area, terminal, airplane or other air travel related accident and there are questions about what laws apply, e-mail or call us at ABRAMS LANDAU, Ltd. (703-796-9555) at once.

Airport workers injured on the job through no fault of their own should still take proacticve measures to make the best of their situation, despite disability and continued medical treatment

Injured Airport Ramp Agent Seeks Help

Airport workers injured on the job through no fault of their own should still take proacticve measures to make the best of their situation, despite disability and continued medical treatment
Airport workers permanently injured on the job through no fault of their own should still take proacticve measures to make the best of their situation, despite disability and continued medical treatment

Recently, a Washington, D.C. area airport passenger guide came to the Herndon law firm ABRAMS LANDAU, Ltd. for help with his on the job brain injury case.

Learning about airport injury lawyer Doug Landau from the extensive writing on the internet, this Herndon resident was still suffering from his orthopedic and neurological injuries over a year after a ramp had blown over in a storm while this diminutive gentleman was directing airline passengers where to go to smaller regional jets and prop planes.

In addition to a traumatic brain injury (“TBI”) this airport worker sustained a vision impact as well as a fractured jaw and ankle. Over 15 months post-injury, he had still not returned to any form of work, and was still treating with multiple medical specialists.

However, lawyer Landau was not pleased to see that this intelligent gentleman had not taken any steps to make the best of his situation.

The injured airport worker had not registered with any state, local, or federal agency in order to pursue training, education, or job placement.

Because his English was so poor, it was hard to understand the claimant. Had he used the time he was off work and receiving wage replacement benefits from his airport employer’s workers comp insurance company, this young man could have really helped himself and his family by becoming fluent in English. Instead, this Ethiopian permanent US resident is worse off for becoming “deconditioned,” out of work for over a year (a big “red flag” for many potential employers).

In addition, this misguided employee let the insurance company’s “nurse case manager” have her way with his treating doctors such that medical tests, treatment, therapy, and needed notes were either not approved or ignored.

In short, by not making the most of his situation and being proactive with an experienced workers compensation lawyer, this young man is unemployed, unwell, unable to speak the language of the country where he has chosen to live, and unlikely to get a job doing anything in the near future.

At the Herndon law firm ABRAMS LANDAU, Ltd., we give “homework” to our clients and their families in order to prevent them from having to play “catch up.” It is better to anticipate problems in a case and acknowledge the realities of an on the job injury claim. Sometimes airport clients cannot return to their old jobs, sometimes they cannot even return to work in any capacity for the airlines with whom they had worked for many years. Sometimes a workplace injury will require an airport worker to learn new skills, find a job away from the AOA and even go back to school.

If you are unafraid of working for a better future after a workplace injury, please call or e-mail or call us at ABRAMS LANDAU, Ltd. (703-796-9555) at once.

People who do not live under the landing patterns of major airports do not expect to see aircraft above their airspace. Droes coming onto private property without permission may become sport for well-armed Virginians

Fauquier County Virginia Drone Shooting

People who do not live under the landing patterns of major airports do not expect to see aircraft above their airspace. Droes coming onto private property without permission may become sport for well-armed Virginians
People who do not live under the landing patterns of major airports do not expect to see aircraft above their airspace. Drones flying onto or over private property, without permission, may become sport for well-armed Virginians

After being interviewed by Illinois an radio station regarding the use of drones and the legal ramifications (such as invasion of privacy, personal injury, airport proximity, etc.), Doug Landau became aware of a story not far from his home in Northern Virginia.

A Fauquier County resident noted that there was an unmanned, remote control flying machine over her neighbor’s property. When this drone drifted over to her property, she became alarmed at the intentions of this “UFO.” It just so happens that this woman was cleaning her guns on her front porch. Taking umbrage at this invasion of her privacy, this sure-shot Warrenton-area woman fired her weapon and took the drone out!

The local police were contacted by new sources, however law enforcement officials indicated that without a police report, there would be no charges. The woman who shot the drone out of the sky above her Fauquier County property indicated that when she threatened to call the police, the drone operators took off.

Drone operators need to be sensitive as to the privacy rights of other citizens, as well as their safety, because if a drone falls out of the sky and injures, they would be responsible for all the harms and losses.

If you or someone you know has been injured by a drone crash or other aircraft mishap, whether manned or unmanned, and there are questions as to the laws that apply, e-mail or call us at ABRAMS LANDAU, Ltd. (703-796-9555) at once.

Airport Operations Areas, encompass the runways, aprons, refueling and loading areas at an airport. They are special, busy workplaces, where injuries occur to innocent airport workers, airline employees and members of the traveling public.

Mayhem on the “Air Operations Area” – Landau to lecture on Accidents on the AOA at American Trial Lawyers National Convention

Airport Operations Areas, encompass the runways, aprons, refueling and loading areas at an airport. They are special, busy workplaces, where injuries occur to innocent airport workers, airline employees and members of the traveling public.
Airport Operations Areas (or “AOA”), encompass the runways, taxiing zones, aprons, refueling and loading areas at an airport. They are special, busy, loud, time-pressured environments, where injuries occur to innocent airport workers, government agents, airline employees and members of the traveling public.

When Doug Landau takes the podium on the national program to teach other top trial lawyers about the special rules and regulations at airport runways, he will start by defining what is meant by the “AOA.”  According to the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) the Air Operations Area (AOA) “consists of airport areas where aircraft can operate, either under their own power or while in tow. The AOA includes runways, taxiways, and apron areas.”

http://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/media/Advisory_Circular/150_5220_24.pdf

Another FAA definition of the “Air Operations Area” is “where security measures are enforced as specified in the airport security program. This area includes aircraft movement areas, aircraft parking areas, loading ramps, and safety areas and any adjacent areas (such as general aviation areas).”

http://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/media/Advisory_Circular/150_5300_18b_part2.pdf

To further elaborate, the term is defined in the Aviation Glossary explanation of the AOA as “Any area of an airport used or intended to be used for landing, takeoff, or surface maneuvering of aircraft. An air operations area includes such paved areas or unpaved areas that are used, or intended to be used, for the unobstructed movement of aircraft in addition to its associated runway, taxiways, or apron.”

http://aviationglossary.com/air-operations-area-aoa/

It is the area of the airport, after passengers pass through the entrance of the terminal, successfully navigate the TSA screening area and enter the “sterile area”, where their luggage from the underbellies of the jets is loaded and unloaded, planes are re-fueled, catering trucks mate to international aircraft, maintenance Cushman vehicles stop for repairs, mid-field people movers bring travelers to their gates, tugs tow planes to runways or baggage to “arrivals” conveyer belts, ground crews use hand signals with illuminated wands to cockpits and pre-flight inspections are carried out by airline crew members. “Understanding what area is within the special rules covering the AOA is critical to the investigation of a permanent injury case or collision between airport vehicles or jets,” notes Landau, of the Herndon law firm ABRAMS LANDAU, Ltd. His Dulles International Airport (“IAD”) office routinely helps injured airport workers, airline employees, air travelers and the innocent victims of unsafe conduct on the runways of East Coast airports.

If you or someone you know or care for has been injured as the result of an airport terminal, airplane or other air travel related accident and there are questions about what laws apply, e-mail or call us at ABRAMS LANDAU, Ltd. (703-796-9555) at once.

Plane on tarmac

Airport Lightning Strike – Does Airline have Duty to Protect?

Plane on tarmac
Deplaning directly on the tarmac, without the protection of a jetway, can expose passengers to dangerous conditions. Does an airline have a duty to protect when it comes to passenger safety in the airport operations area (AOA)?

In the summer of 2015, a healthy, vibrant 52 year old woman died of her injuries after being struck by lightning on an airport tarmac in Columbia, South Carolina.  The woman was getting off an American Airlines plane that had been diverted to Columbia because of bad weather.

Her family filed a lawsuit, alleging the airport and airline personnel did not take necessary measures to protect the passengers from a known risk of lightning.  The suit states the woman “came to her untimely death as a direct and proximate result of Defendants’ negligent, grossly negligent, willful, wanton, and reckless conduct or failure.”

Airport injury lawyer Doug Landau believes that, just as all common carriers have a duty to protect the traveling public, airline and airport personnel in this situation should have done more to ensure the safety of its passengers. Having tried cases in Columbia, SC, lawyer Landau has flown in and out of the small airport that services that Southern city. If there is a high probability of dangerous lightning strikes, then the airlines and tower have a duty to prevent foreseeable harms.

According to the National Severe Storms Laboratory website,

“over the contiguous 48 states, an average of 20,000,000 cloud-to-ground flashes have been detected every year since the lightning detection network covered all of the continental US in 1989. In addition, about half of all flashes have more than one ground strike point, so at least 30 million points on the ground are struck on the average each year in the US.”

30 million ground strikes each year!!

Clearly, lightning poses a real and quantifiable danger.  Scientific advancement in weather prediction capabilities make it possible to anticipate storms and the presence of lightning.  In fact it would be nearly impossible with today’s technology NOT to predict the possibility of lightning!

“As pointed out in the lawsuit, every coach, troop leader, and sporting event manager knows not to expose people to lightning,” notes Lawyer Landau.  “The woman in this case had every reason to believe she would be safe when deplaning.”

If you or someone you know has been injured at an airport and there are questions as to what laws apply, email or call Abrams Landau, Ltd. at once (703-796-9555).

 

Just as when air travel was in its infancy, drone usage is so new that the laws and regulations have not yet caught up to actual usage.  The Commonwealth of Virginia is uniquely positioned to aide in the research into safety.

Virginia Poised to be a Leader in Drone Technology and Unmanned Craft Testing

historic airplane
When airplanes looked like this, air travel was in its infancy and few regulations existed. The laws and rules governing today’s airline industry were developed over time, as air travel became more pervasive and safety became of greater concern. Similarly, drone law must evolve as the popularity of these unmanned systems is on the rise.

Drones are unmanned remote-controlled aircraft.

The Commonwealth of Virginia is uniquely positioned to test, manufacture, and create policy to augment the safety of these unmanned systems.

In an interview with second term U.S. Senator Mark Warner for the April edition of Virginia Business,  this outstanding politician said, “Not as a politician, but as a business guy, I predict what will be the next most disruptive technology will be unmanned systems. There were 1 million drones sold at Christmas last year America. None of them were built in America. Yet, Virginia is one of the six sites that can do [Federal Aviation Administration] testing. We actually have more capacity to test center-driven or driverless cars in Virginia than any other state. With activities at Virginia Tech, some activities at Southside, and with some capacity we have in the [Express] lanes in Northern Virginia, we have an opportunity to be involved in the design and manufacture of unmanned systems. It’s going to be a huge area, with the military, with activities at Tech and other institutions, we really have a chance to be a leader.”

The military has already been arming drones to kill enemy combatants just as the Israeli Defense Force has been using them for years to take out known terrorists. The technology exists for many civilian applications.

“However, the law sometimes trails newer technologies, and rules to ensure safe use and responsible manufacture are critical to protecting citizens’ privacy and safety,” notes Herndon airport injury lawyer Doug Landau.

He adds, “The government cannot simply give drone owners carte blanche; there must be some regulatory oversight, or else these devices will start taking jets, planes, and helicopters out of the sky, causing property damage and permanent injury to innocent victims in the air and on the ground. If Virginia is going to be leader in testing, design, and manufacture of the unmanned flying devices, then the Commonwealth will need to have laws in place to protect the public from unnecessary harm.”

If you or someone you care for has been injured by a drone, aircraft, or other aviation related accident, and there are questions as to what laws apply, email or call Abrams Landau, Ltd. at once (703-796-9555).

airplane

Post-9/11 Pentagon Fatality Results in Awards for Daughters by Two Different Mothers

airplane
Air travel was forever changed on 9/11/2001. Airport injury lawyer Doug Landau represented the families of an airline pilot, senior flight attendant, and passengers killed on that infamous day. In a tragic twist, he also helped the families of a worker killed in a post-911 accident.

In one of the more tragic cases of Herndon injury lawyer Doug Landau’s career, he was called upon to represent a worker who died in the aftermath of the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon outside of Washington DC.

The Abrams Landau team represented the family of the pilot of the jet that crashed into the Pentagon, as well as the senior flight attendant’s family, and those of passengers traveling.

The devastation did not stop on that infamous day.

A crack team of welders was brought in from Colorado to repair the damage to our nation’s military headquarters. One of these workers was fatally crushed by a steel beam girder that fell out of its placement sling.  He died instantly in a horrific manner.

Lawyer Landau was contacted, and undertook to represent the deceased worker’s middle school age daughter, living in Colorado with the employee’s ex-wife.

However, the decedent had divorced his first wife and mother of his daughter, and remarried.  And in a tragic twist, his new wife was pregnant, but did not give birth until sometime after the post 9/11 workplace accident.

So what happens next?

As the ex-wife and current wife could not agree for the case to be settled, Doug Landau was able to fashion an Award from the Virginia Worker’s Compensation Commission that provided payments to BOTH daughters equally, until such time as either:

  • the older daughter turned 18 or passed away, OR
  • the younger daughter predeceased her sister, in which case the other would receive the full amount of the death benefit.

In Virginia, fatal job accident cases can be paid up to 500 weeks. However, Landau knew that this statute can be extended if the child is in a full-time qualifying educational institution.

The child in Colorado was in school, and received benefits beyond her 18th birthday.

Landau also has won cases for children who are themselves above the age of majority, but who are disabled, such that they can get almost 10 years of weekly compensation payments.

If you or someone you know may be eligible for Worker’s Compensation benefits, and has questions about how best to proceed, please contact us at once as there are strict legal time limits that can forever bar a child, spouse, and other family members from receiving a dime.  Call us at 703-796-9555, or send an email.

If you are injured at an airport you must hire experienced legal counsel right away who knows how to build an “open and shut” case.

10 Hallmarks of an “Open and Shut” Airport Injury Case

If you are injured at an airport you must hire experienced legal counsel who knows how to build an “open and shut” case on your behalf.

The trial team at Abrams Landau, Ltd. was contacted by an out-of-state lawyer earlier this month for assistance in a case in which a traveler was struck by a rental car company employee on the airport premises.

Herndon injury lawyer Doug Landau explained to his colleague that an open and shut airport accident case has the following hallmarks:

  1. Pictures of the scene
  2. Videotape of the incident
  3. Witnesses that support the injured victim’s version of what happened
  4. Airport police or county sheriff’s investigation of the incident
  5. Prompt liability investigation to determine who is at fault
  6. Two or more written statements supporting the injured victim’s claims
  7. Physical evidence, such as torn clothing, damaged luggage, etc.
  8. Objective signs of injury which can be clearly perceived by medical professionals, as well as lay witnesses
  9. Prompt, appropriate medical treatment
  10. Records supporting good pre-injury health, and no significant, related pre-existing conditions or subsequent intervening or superseding accidents, illnesses etc.

Unfortunately, the trial team at Abrams Landau, Ltd. was unable to get involved with this particular case because:

  • They were contacted too late;
  • Almost no liability investigation had taken place; and
  • There were no objective signs of injury, despite the subsequent two years of medical treatment.

While lawyer Doug Landau’s first instinct is always to help, and his experience in handling and helping those injured in and around airports is well-known, it was simply too late to help.

If you or someone you know has been injured while on an airport premises and there are questions as to what laws apply, email or call Abrams Landau, Ltd. at once (703-796-9555).