Lawsuit Against Delta After Jet Fuel Was Dumped Over Schools and Playgrounds

Joe: 106.7 WIZN, Manfred Mann’s Earth Band doing the old Bruce Springsteen tune, it’s “Blinded by the Light.” Heard Aerosmith before that. Joe Vega here with you on your Wednesday Rocking Ride Home. Got Ben Barry on the phone, right now, from Martin Harding & Mazzotti. Hello, Ben.

Ben: Hello, Joe.

Joe: All right, so, today’s topic, this is a story coming out of California. Basically, a Delta Airline plane was making an emergency landing and as I guess, is their procedure, is they dumped all their fuel. It just happened to be on a schoolyard where a bunch of school teachers got doused with jet fuel, and now they’re suing Delta Airlines. So, I guess the question here is do they have a case?

Ben: So, let me get this right. The airliner, for some reason, had to dump fuel, and they happened to dump it over a school playground?

Joe: Exactly, pretty much, or a schoolyard.

Ben: Yeah, so there is, absolutely, a lawsuit there. The question, I think, jet fuel is particularly toxic, especially long-term exposure.

Joe: Right.

Ben: So, the question, I think, is whether or not the airline did anything wrong or outside of FAA procedure, or outside of Delta’s procedure.

Joe: And there’s an answer to that question, which is no, because air traffic control asked them if they were dumping fuel and they responded negative, according to a radio transmission. So, doesn’t sound like they did follow proper protocol.

Ben: Okay. So, what they did or how they did it all goes to the question of whether or not they’re responsible or liable for the damages that come from that act.

Joe: Right.

Ben: If it was water, for example, are they still wrong to do it? Yeah, you shouldn’t dump water or waste over anybody. But the question really becomes damages. So, in this case, let’s assume that Delta did something wrong. Let’s assume that they have liability. I think the question really is what kind of damage is caused to an individual who has jet fuel coming from the sky onto their persons? I assume that the lawsuit is probably going to allege some sort of emotional distress, perhaps some acute physical ailments. And how to sum those up into a monetary amount, I think, is a question that will ultimately have to be answered in a court of law. But I do think that there’s at least a prima facie case for a good lawsuit, for something that can be brought to court and there are questions that have to be answered.

Joe: All right, well, thank you, Ben. Ben Barry from Martin, Harding & Mazzotti.

Ben: Thank you, Joe.

Joe: You, of course, can call Ben at any time at 1800LAW1010 or go online to I’m getting on out of here, Mel Allen takes over. He’s got music from AC/DC and Joe Walsh next.