Passenger sues Southwest Airlines over hot tea spill

Author: Alisa Brodkowitz  |  Category: Burns, Safety


By Aaron Cooper, CNN

Washington (CNN) — A Tennessee woman sued Southwest Airlines and a flight attendant Tuesday for $800,000 for serving tea she says severely burned her.

On December 28, 2011, Angelica Keller was seated in the window seat of the front row on Flight 955 between Nashville and Houston with a stop in New Orleans.

She ordered hot tea, and the suit says the flight attendant brought her a cup of “extremely hot water” sitting in another cup which contained the tea bag and condiment packets.

In the “plaintiffs efforts to extricate the tea bag from its position of being wedged between the tilted paper ‘hot cup’ of extremely hot water and the shorter clear plastic soft drink cup, the extremely hot water spilled into her lap at her groin area,” the suit said.

Keller’s body suffered second degree burns and her skin blistered, peeled and she was permanently scarred, the lawyers said.

“Our Customers’ comfort is our top priority at all times, and we safely serve about 100 million drinks onboard every year,” Southwest spokesman Chris Mainz said in a statement. “The referenced event is unfortunate, and we are currently reviewing it. We can’t provide additional details due to the pending lawsuit that was filed.”

Southwest does not have tray tables in the front rows of its aircraft, and Keller’s suit said that contributed to the accident.

It also said the airline served the drink in an unreasonable manner and used “hot water at a temperature too hot for use in an aircraft.”

Mainz was unable to provide the standard temperature of the water on Southwest flights, but said it has never been an issue in the past.

The suit, filed Tuesday, seeks $300,000 for property damages, medical bills, injuries and pain and suffering as well as $500,000 in punitive damages.

Full story via

When an airline fails to reasonably care for a passenger, causing injury such as the one described in the story above, we step in to help hold the airline accountable to ensure the passenger or passengers are compensated.  For more information about Brodkowitz Law and our work representing injured passengers and crew worldwide, visit our website or contact us for a free consultation.

Hawaiian B763 over Pacific on Sept. 17, 2012, dual hydraulic failure

Author: Alisa Brodkowitz  |  Category: Other Events


By, Simon Hradecky, via The Aviation Herald

A Hawaiian Airlines Boeing 767-300, flight HA-455 from Honolulu, HI (USA) to Manila (Philippines), was enroute at FL330 over the Pacific Ocean about 2 hours into the flight when the crew reported they were losing their right hand hydraulic system, descended the aircraft below RVSM airspace (FL290 and above) and decided to return to Honolulu.  Upon arrival to Honolulu the crew reported they were also losing their center hydraulic system.  The aircraft landed safely on runway 08L about 4.5 hours after departure and vacated the runway.

A replacement Boeing 767-300 registration N590HA reached Manila with a delay of 6 hours.

The full Aviation Herald story can be found, here.

The flight path can be found, here.

It is unclear whether the FAA will be investigating this incident.  Their Preliminary Accident and Incident Database can be found, here.

For more information about Brodkowitz Law and our work representing injured passengers and crew worldwide, visit our website or contact us for a free consultation.

Plane remains on ground after smoke in cabin reported

Author: Alisa Brodkowitz  |  Category: Other Events


via Green Bay Press-Gazette

ASHWAUBENON — A Delta Air Lines flight remained on the ground at Austin Straubel International Airport on Sunday afternoon after the flight crew reported smoke the cabin after leaving the gate.

The 4:45 p.m. flight — a CRJ700 operated by ExpressJet Airlines as Delta Flight 5209 with 64 passengers, four crew and two infants — was bound for Detroit.

Medical personnel examined some of the passengers and crew, but no one was taken to the hospital, airport officials said Monday.

Full story, here.  Additional reports, here.

Please visit our website for more information about toxic fumes on aircraft.  If you have been exposed to contaminated air on an airplane there is important information that your doctor should know. Click here to obtain the Bleed Air Medical Protocol, a document designed to help doctors treat victims of fume events. Bring this document to your doctor.

If you have any additional questions, please contact Brodkowitz Law for more information.

Southern Air B742 near Anchorage on Sep 11th 2012, failure of all generators on board

Author: Alisa Brodkowitz  |  Category: Safety



Original Post by Simon Hradecky, on September 12, 2012 via The Aviation Herald

A Southern Air Boeing 747-200 frieghter, registation N783SA performing flight 9S-9783 (departing September 10, 2012) from Miami, FL to Anchroage, AK had been enroute at FL400 and was in the initial descent towards Anchorage approximately 23 minutes prior to touch down when all four generators on board failed leaving the aircraft just with battery back up electric power.  The loss of electricity also meant communication between aircraft and ATC was lost, other aircraft flying in the area however managed to relay transmissions from the aircraft to ATC and vice cersa, ATC requested those relaying aircraft to inform the 742 crew they were cleared for a visual approach to runway 07L and cleared to land.  About 10 minutes later, approximately 13 minutes prior to estimated touch down, direct communication was restored after the crew managed to get a APU running.   The crew requested a long final to get the aricraft configured and opted for an ILS approach to runway 07L.  The aircraft touched down safely, but blew all but two main and body gear tires on the roll out due to the failure of the anti skid system and non-availabilty of thrust reversers and came  to a stop disabled on the runway reporting blown tires and hot brakes.

The runway closed for about 12 hours as a result until the 14 tires were replaced, the aircraft was towed off the runway and the runway had been cleaned.

The NTSB opened an investigation into the occurance reporting the aircraft suffered a complete electrical failure, the crew was flying on battery power only and nearly depleted the batteris.  The NTSB is looking into what caused the failure of all four generators.

The airport reported that the crew managed to get a backup generator online, but this did not power the anti-skid system.

The onward leg to Seoul (South Korea) was cancelled.

The full story via The Aviation Herald, can be found here

To monitor the The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) for an update and or Preliminary Report, you can search the Aviation Accident Database here and search by the date of the incident.

For more information about Brodkowitz Law and our working represeting injured passengers and crew worldwide, visit our website or contact us for a free consulation.

Refrigerator-sized aircraft part crashes in Kent neighborhood

Author: Alisa Brodkowitz  |  Category: Safety


By, KOMO Staff via

KENT, Wash. – The FAA is investigating after a piece of metal about the size of a refrigerator door fell from a jet aircraft and crashed into a residential neighborhood Friday morning on Kent’s East Hill.

Residents who live in the area said the errant aircraft part hit the ground just before 7 a.m. and skipped about 30 feet before coming to rest on the street, right next to sidewalks and the front yards of homes there.

According to witnesses, lots of people walk through the area each day, including children heading to school. But luckily no one was hit when the part came crashing down.

“We were grateful that no children were hurt and it didn’t hit a house or a car,” said Maureen Rinabarger.

The neighbors say it appeared to be a cargo jet heading for Boeing Field and moments later, the piece fell out of the sky, fluttering its way to the ground.

“We heard a big crash, like a slap, slap,” Rinabarger said. “And it did sound like a big large piece of metal.”

Later Friday afternoon, the FAA confirmed it was part of a landing gear door off a Boeing 767, but have not said if they have located the plane it came from.

Full Story and video, here.
The Federal Aviation Administration has not posted the incident on their Preliminary Accident and Incident Notices webpage, however, you can look for the notice here, as soon as it is available.  The webpage provides preliminary accident and incident information reported to the Office of Accident Investigation & Prevention within the past 10 business days. All information is preliminary and subject to change.
For more information about Brodkowitz Law, please visit our website or contact us for a free consultation.

Safety board: Equip big jets to prevent runway collisions

Author: Alisa Brodkowitz  |  Category: Other Events


By Bart Jansen, USA TODAY

Big jetliners should be equipped with anti-collision equipment such as cameras to help pilots avoid clipping wingtips while taxiing, the National Transportation Safety Board recommended Wednesday.

The recommendation from the safety board to the Federal Aviation Administration follows at least three runway collisions in the past 18 months.

One of the collisions, involving the world’s biggest passenger jet, drew national attention: That’s when a giant Airbus A380 struck the tail of a small regional jet on April 11, 2011, at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.

The problem in larger planes, the NTSB said, is that the pilot can’t see the wingtips from the cockpit without opening a window, which the NTSB says is often impractical.

The board suggests that a camera could be mounted with a display in the cockpit so that pilots could see other aircraft and obstacles.

“While collision-warning systems are now common in highway vehicles, it is important for the aviation industry to consider their application in large aircraft,” said Deborah Hersman, NTSB chairwoman. Preventing runway collisions has long been a priority for the safety board.

Since 2007, the FAA has added new safety technology, altered procedures for how planes taxi and pressured airlines and airports to make dozens of additional improvements.

In a September 2011 report, the most recent year available, the FAA said the most critical ground errors, called runway incursions, had fallen the previous decade from a high of 67 a year to seven.

Still, incursions occur:

•In July 2011, a Delta Boeing 767 was taxiing at Boston’s Logan Airport when its left wing struck an Atlantic Southeast Airlines Bombardier CRJ-900. The Bombardier suffered substantial tail damage and the plane lost fluid in three hydraulic systems.

•This year on May 30, an American Eagle Embraer 135 regional jet was struck in the tail by the right wing of a Taiwanese EVA Airways Boeing 747, which was taxiing at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. The Embraer suffered substantial damage to the rudder and vertical stabilizer, while the 747 had minor damage to the wingtip and slats.

The NTSB said that new warning equipment should be installed on older planes as well as new ones and that Boeing’s 747, 757, 767 and 777 models, along with the Airbus A380 and McDonnell Douglas’ MD-10 and MD-11, should be covered.

The airline industry group Airlines for America said the risks are low.

“These types of incidents are extremely rare in the context of overall operations,” spokeswoman Victoria Day said. “Airlines have procedures in place using wing walkers and other means to minimize these risks.”

Full story via USA Today, here.

For more information about Brodkowitz Law and our work representing in injured passengers and crew worldwide, visit our website or contact us.