Many travelers from New York and elsewhere understand that they might have an unpleasant experience when they fly, which could range from lost luggage to unexpected delays. However, they may not anticipate the possibility of being assaulted on an airplane. Whether a person is a passenger or an airline employee, nobody should experience sexual assault or harassment on a flight.
As people in New York sat in rush-hour traffic, nearly 200 people were involved in a fatal incident on the other side of the world: the crash of a Boeing 737 MAX 8 as it began its morning flight from Jakarta. The brand-new plane went down off the coast of the Indonesian island of Java, presumedly killing everyone on board.
Unlike murder, which has no time limit in New York, complainants have only a few years after an incident to file wrongful death charges. This discrepancy is due in part to the differing legal consequences -- and burden of proof -- between the criminal and civil convictions.
You and other New Yorkers are likely familiar with the term "road rage," as it is common to encounter impatient and angry drivers who purposefully endanger others on the road. A lesser-known term can also pose dangers for people in the air, and it may happen more often than you think.
If you are an experienced air traveler, then you know to expect the customary notice against the use of portable electronic devices every time you board a plane in Manhattan. Ask people why this notice is given, and you may hear answers ranging from it is simply to protect airlines from property damage claims to PEDs can cause a plane's electrical system to fail. In reality, the reason the use of PEDs during a flight is discouraged is that there is concern that they may interfere with an aircraft's navigation or communication systems.
When people board a commercial flight, they assume that they plane is mechanically sound and ready for flight. Mechanical plane failure, however, is one of the main factors leading to deadly plane accidents in the United States and throughout the world alongside weather and human error. Failure to operate or improper design of critical airplane parts, such as the fuel tanks, navigation system, landing gear, spoilers, rudder, stabilizers, wing components and engine controls, can be catastrophic. Boeing released a study reporting that approximately 20 percent of all commercial air accidents are attributed to mechanical failure.
If you are among the many New Yorkers who regularly fly with a laptop computer, know that it can pose a serious safety risk if you store it in your checked luggage, as opposed to taking in onboard as a carry-on. Alarming new research suggests that laptops stored in carry-on luggage can ignite, if stored near aerosol cans or certain types of cosmetics. At Kreindler & Kreindler LLP, we understand that this and other airplane safety risks pose serious, substantial threats to passengers, and we have helped many clients who suffered injury due to airplane-related accidents pursue appropriate recourse.
When people board a flight, they should feel rest assured that the airplane they are entering has been fully maintained and is safe for travel. However, mistakes made in the upkeep of the plane or system failure could lead to a catastrophic event. Ultimately, the airline responsible for taking care of the airplanes is to blame for any accidents, injuries or deaths that are caused as a result of poor equipment maintenance.
When you board a commercial aircraft in New York, you probably do not ask yourself the last time the plane underwent inspection. Why? Chances are, you trust that the airline itself has a team of mechanics in place who are making sure the aircraft is safe for flight. Regrettably, however, it appears that at least one major airline is questioning its mechanics when they report issues and discouraging them from reporting identified problems.
The recent tragedy involving a woman's death onboard a Southwest Airlines flight sent shock waves across New York and the nation, and the incident is raising important questions about the engine safety of today's commercial aircraft. At Kreindler & Kreindler LLP, we understand the types of tragedies that can result from aircraft design defects, and we have helped many clients and family members seek recourse in the wake of plane crashes and related incidents.