NC Aviation Law Attorney

Grandparents Sue Over Granddaughter’s Death

Grandparents who moved to the United States from Africa in 2004 to save their granddaughter’s life have file a wrongful death lawsuit against their former landlord over her death in a fire in 2009.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the 10-year-old died from smoke inhalation the day following the fire and the grandparents were in comas for months with severe burns.  They are now disabled from their injuries.

The lawsuit states the windows in their second floor apartment were not able to be opened either because they were designed that way or they were sealed or painted shut, leaving the three people no way to escape the fire.

The fire started when a man with a mental disorder andwho lived in their building passed out with a lit cigarette.

The lawsuit states the landlord should have ensured the windows would opened and should have cautioned them about their neighbor who has a history of starting fires.

The landlord claims the apartment complied with city codes and had passed inspection.

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Posted by 3:23 pm

More Information On Deadly Crash At PTI

Authorities have identified Marcia Salmons Keaton, 50, from Fuquay-Varina as the pilot of the Beechcraft Baron 58 that crashed into a house in High Point, North Carolina, roughly 3 miles from touchdown at Piedmont Triad International Airport, reports WRAL in Raleigh.  The pilot and her passenger, Dr. Thomas Littlejohn III of Winston Salem were killed in the crash. No one on the ground was injured.

It has now been confirmed that the National Weather Service reported heavy fog in the area at the time, with visibility as low as a quarter-mile. The pilot spoke with air traffic controllers (ATC) and was routed to PTI via “radar vectors,” which means she was directed to the bigger airport every step of the way by air traffic controllers.

In the air traffic control recording the pilot of Air Logistics 569 (AirLog 569), after receiving the 100-foot ceiling weather, is heard that it (the weather) wouldn’t help much. After that, the pilot discussed holding—which means waiting for the weather to clear—with the air traffic controller. The air traffic controller told her that everyone was getting into Greensboro—no “go-arounds”—then the pilot of Air Log 569 agreed try an approach. The controller then guided the aircraft to an instrument approach to runway 5 left. AirLog 569 was cleared to 3000 feet, and then was cleared for the ILS Rwy 5L approach 9 miles from Cives, which is 4.7 nm miles from touchdown. AirLog 569 was instructed to maintain 3000 feet until established on the approach.

Fifty seconds after this, the controller contacted the Air Logistics aircraft saying that it had flown through the localizer course, and the pilot responded that the aircraft was coming back to the course. Approximately two minutes later, ATC cleared AirLog 569 to land on Rwy 5L. Just over a minute later, called AirLog 569 to advise it of a low altitude alert and the pilot responded that they were going around. The controller issued go-around instructions.

ATC tried several times after this to contact AirLog 569 but there were no responses.



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Posted by 8:00 am

Two Die In High Point, NC Plane Crash

A twin-engine Hawker Beechcraft Baron Model 58 belonging to Jet Logistics of Charlotte, N.C., crashed into a home in High Point, North Carolina, killing the aircraft’s two occupants. One was a noted physician from Winston-Salem, N.C., the other victim was the pilot who has yet to be identified.

The aircraft had flown earlier in the day (7:11 am) from Raleigh-Durham International Airport and arrived at Smith-Reynolds Airport in Winston-Salem thirty minutes later, departing for Wilmington, N.C. at 8:50 a.m. It arrived in Wilmington at 9:42 a.m. and departed on the accident flight at 4:23 p.m. en route back to Smith Reynolds with an intended landing at 5:20 p.m. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by 8:00 am

Legislative Folly in North Carolina

A few comments on portions of the so-called “tort reform” bills now in the North Carolina legislature being pushed by lawmakers who are supported by the insurance industry.

The product liability portion of the current legislation is setting up a constitutional challenge in the aviation area. The Federal Aviation Act of 1958 and cases say that the federal regulations as to aircraft are “minimum standards” and do not establish a level or guarantee of safety. Every aircraft design is approved, to various degrees, by the federal authorities. But there are federal cases saying that these approvals, and the Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR’s) themselves, are not determinative of the legal safety of a design (that’s my summary of 40 years of case law—there are exceptions). I have not fully thought this all through, but it seems to me that this provides ample constitutional and preemptive challenges to be in the courts for years. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by 8:21 pm

Starbucks Faces Wrongful Death Lawsuit Over Tip Jar Scuffle

The family of a Missouri who man who fought a 19-year-old thief and died from his injuries has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the coffee giant.

Mr. Kreutz was ordering coffee at a Starbucks when a 19-year-old snatched the tip jar from the counter.  Mr. Kreutz followed the man outside, had a fight with him and was thrown to the ground.  As the 19-year-old sped off, he hit Mr. Kreutz with his car.  Mr. Kruetz later died from his injuries.

The lawsuit blames Starbucks for inviting criminal activity by leaving the tip jars so near the customers and alleges they “did not employ security to prevent the perpetration of such crimes.”  The younger man was not named in the lawsuit.

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Posted by 4:11 pm

Another Automotive Recall – Ford Pickup Trucks

The Associated Press has reported Ford Motor Co. will recall almost 150,000 F-150 pickup trucks from 2005-2006 in the U.S. and Canada to fix the air bags.  In what Ford calls a “relatively low risk”, the air bags could deploy without warning.

One would imagine the “relative low risk” factor would vary depending on if you are the driver or an innocent victim when the air bag deploys unexpectedly while driving down a busy street.  Even one severe injury or death is too much when a known problem exists.  This is 2011 – why we are hearing about the 2005-2006 models six years later?

This recall is much smaller than the government wanted.  Citing dozens of injuries, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration told the company the recall should cover 1.3 million vehicles from the 2004-2006 model years.

Unexpected personal injury from a defective product is a concern for Crouse Law Offices, especially when a severe injury or even death can occur.  If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective product, call us today at 1-919-861-0500 or use our online contact form.

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Posted by 12:41 pm

Delta Air Line Jet And Fuel Truck Collide On Runway

CNN reports a fuel truck crashed into a Delta Air Line MD-88 at New York’s LaGuardia airport Sunday afternoon with about 106 passengers and 5 crew members were on board.  Fortunately, no one was injured in the mishap – the plane was not moving at the time.

The fuel truck driver was treated at the hospital for a cut on the head. Flight 2979 was on the tarmac preparing for a flight to Ft. Lauderdale but had to be because one of the jet’s wings was damage in the collision.

Until the investigation is complete, authorities are not releasing how fast the fuel truck was traveling when it hit the aircraft.

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Posted by 5:41 pm

Another Abuse Of Our Youngest Travelers: Sky West/United Airlines Denied Mother Use Of Protective Car Seat

A California mother was almost in tears when she was given the ultimatum from Sky West flight attendant to take her baby out of the car seat and hold her during takeoff or get off the plane.  She feared for her child’s safety and claims her daughter’s safety rights were violated.

The 11-month-old is already a seasoned traveler with trips including the Caribbean and Hawaii and has always been safely buckled up in her FAA approved Graco car seat.  The FAA recommends children under 20 pounds – like this 11-month old girl – be in a rear facing car seat.  The flight attendant insisted the child should be facing forward.

In my article, Protecting Our Youngest Travelers on the Crouse Law Office sponsored Aviation Safety Blog–dedicated to safety in all areas of aviation–I point out the FAA’s website states the safest place for children during turbulence or an emergency is in a CRS (child restraint system) – NOT ON YOUR LAP.

The mother wants flight crews to have better training when it comes to kids and car seats, stating, “I think it’s each passenger’s right to be able to be safe regardless of their age.”

I couldn’t agree more.  Everybody needs to get together on this one to protect those who can’t protect themselves.  What’s stopping the Federal Aviation Administration, the airlines, and the seat manufacturers from making this situation right?  Why are we in this current mess, which only means frustration and possible tragedy?

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Posted by 1:31 pm

Two Dead After Medical Helicopter And Plane Collide

A midair collision between a 1967 single-engine Cessna 172L and a Eurocopter EC135 AirCare 5 medical transport helicopter in Virginia has left two dead.  The accident happened New Year’s Eve about half-mile north of the Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport in Weyers Cave.

The helicopter is registered to PHI Inc. in Lafayette, La.  The plane was registered to Michael W. Price of Elton, although he was not on the plane at the time of the crash.

The collision between the two aircraft knocked off the plane’s left wing and both occupants were killed when it plummeted to the ground.  The plane was totally destroyed by the impact with the ground.

It is not known what the plane’s destination was or where the flight originated.  The helicopter was returning from the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville and, although damaged, managed to land safely with three crew members on board.

A helicopter instructor who saw the helicopter come in cited the safety features on that aircraft and the training of the pilots for “amazing job” of landing.

The NTSB is investigating the cause of the incident.

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Posted by 2:36 pm

Lawsuit Follows Truckee Tahoe Airport Crash

A negligence lawsuit has been filed by a 15 year-old girl because of injuries she suffered in a 2009 plane crash at the Truckee, Nevada airport.

On Sept. 7, 2009, the then 14 year-old girl was flying from Truckee to San Jose with her friend in a plane piloted by her friend’s parents. The lawsuit claims the pilots of the Cessna P206B filled the plane with an excessive amount of fuel – because fuel is cheaper in Truckee than in San Jose – and therefore made the plane too heavy for takeoff.

The young girl suffered multiple injuries including her back broken in six places and a brain hemorrhage with a concussion.  She continues to suffer from her injuries.

One of the pilots, now a paraplegic from the crash, claims they were not “tankering” fuel to save money and that she had planned the flight including the weight of the fuel.  Her daughter and her husband also suffered injuries in the crash.

The lawsuit claims the pilots disregard for the high-density altitude or “thin air” was the major cause of the crash.

The amount of damages asked requested for personal injury has not been released.

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Posted by 6:07 pm

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