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  1. #1
    slinkyq Guest

    Lawsuit About the Midway Runway Accident

    Hi, the following is an article on today's Chicago Tribune regarding last week's accident in Midway airport. I can understand the angry and suffering about lost a young child. But all those passengers filing lawsuits against anybody remotely related to the accident, complaining this pain or that pain, just feels to me a little like explore for money.


    The mother of 6-year-old Joshua Woods blames air traffic controllers and two Southwest Airlines pilots for her son's Dec. 8 death when a jetliner skidded off a snowy runway at Midway, crashed through an airport barrier and struck the family car on Central Avenue.

    "I'm angry towards the pilot and the tower," Lisa Woods said Tuesday. "I feel something could have been done to prevent all this. Why weren't they redirected somewhere else? ... There are a lot of questions, and I want answers."

    Seated near a sparkling Christmas tree and six stockings in the living room of their Leroy, Ind., home, Lisa and Leroy Woods said the family is having a hard time getting through the holidays without Joshua, who loved Army helicopters, trucks and trains. Two of Joshua's three brothers, Joey, 9, and Jacob, 4, repeatedly ask their parents if they can buy presents for him, Lisa Woods said.

    Attorneys for the family plan to file suit in Cook County Circuit Court seeking unspecified damages against the airline, the pilots and the City of Chicago, said family spokesman and lawyer Ron Stearney Jr. The lawsuit would allege negligence and wrongful death, and seek damages for pain and suffering, he said.

    Two passengers aboard Southwest Flight 1248 are already suing the Dallas-based airline. Mariko L.A. Bennett and Stanley L. Penn allege they were injured when the Boeing 737 slammed through the airport barrier.

    They also allege negligence by the airline in a number of ways, including the decision to land in inclement weather and that the pilot touched down too far along the runway. The suit also names the city and Boeing as co-defendants.

    Southwest spokeswoman Linda Rutherford said the company had not received the lawsuit and could not comment pending completion of an investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board.

    Leroy and Lisa Woods said they still are in pain from physical injuries they suffered when the plane smashed into the family's car. Joshua, who was in the back seat, died of compression asphyxiation, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office.

    Leroy Woods, a truck driver, said his "whole face hurt" from five fractures to his nose and skull, and that he has lost some of his hearing because of the noise of the airplane.

    "I don't think I'll ever drive a truck again, especially if it's dark and snowing," he said. "I'm afraid I'll relive it."

    Lisa Woods, a stay-at-home mom who is training to become a corrections officer, said her shoulder, hip and left arm ache from bruises, some caused when she was pushed into the car's stick shift. She said the injuries have made it difficult for her to take care of the couple's youngest son, Matthew, 1.

    Leroy Woods said he had promised Joshua his first bicycle for Christmas and that the boy was thrilled when he spotted the bike at a store two weeks before he died.

    "I'm going to get it anyway," Leroy Woods said. "It'll go in his room. He wanted it and I made a promise to him. I said Santa would bring it."

    The family copes with Joshua's death by becoming more involved in their church, Leroy Woods said. Joey and Jacob play with other children there, he said.

    A memorial to Joshua decorated with flowers and an electric reindeer sits in the front yard, and the family also decorated a tree near his grave and plans to visit the gravesite on Christmas Day, Leroy Woods said.

    Lisa Woods said the time the boys spent at the hospital on the night of the accident has made it easier for them to grasp what happened to their brother.

    "They actually saw what death was. Now they understand he's not coming home," she said.


  2. #2
    UNT Flyer Guest
    Oh boy, here we go.
    The suit also names the city and Boeing as co-defendants.
    Lawyers always search the deepest pockets, no matter how outrageous their claims of liability.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Naples, FL
    I heard this last night on the news. I don't like people who sue anytime they have an opportunity.

    It's not like Southwest or it's pilot did it on purpose, or even acted negligently. They do the same thing all the time with no problem. This time an ACCIDENT happen and they killed someone. stuff happens.
    If they went somewhere else, others would have sued because they didn't get to their destination. You just can't please everyone.

  4. #4
    jhappel Guest
    I'm not taking sides in this but just wonder if those of you who are upset that the family of the boy killed would feel the same way you do now if it was your 6 year old child killed. Don't answer here, answer in your heart and be honest.

  5. #5
    AirplaneDriver Guest
    I don't see them naming the FAA for failing to enforce their minimums for runway over-run areas!! I guess Boeing is an easier target! Geez....

  6. #6
    slinkyq Guest
    For the parents who lost a child, any lawsuit wont make any difference for the child. But they demand an answer why. Before the offical report come out, no one can give that answer. Once the report comes out, anyone is responsible should pay for their action. But it could be just an act of God. File lawsuit before the report, everyone named in the suit will have to spend a lot of money for it, no matter eventually it is their fault or not. There are a lot of happy lawyers on both sides now.

    For the people who were really injuried in the accident, went to ER, and have a pile of medical bills, at least the airline has to take care them. But for someone just has some bump on a rough ride, complaining this pain or that pain, and demanding a lot of money from everyone remotely related??

  7. #7
    BKMirage Guest
    Originally posted by jhappel
    I'm not taking sides in this but just wonder if those of you who are upset that the family of the boy killed would feel the same way you do now if it was your 6 year old child killed. Don't answer here, answer in your heart and be honest.
    I echo that sentiment, Jonathan.
    I'm against frivilous lawsuits and money grabbing opportunists.
    However, if my 6 year old was killed because of a pilot's or anyone elses proven or admitted negligience, and my little boy's death was proven to have been preventable, I would drop my billion dollar lawsuit if given just 10 minutes alone in a room with the person responsible.
    10 minutes, that's all I'd want.....3 minutes, if I'm allowed a baseball bat.
    I'm sorry, but that's honestly how I feel.

    Anyone with kids want to disagree?
    Last edited by BKMirage; 12-21-2005 at 18:02.

  8. #8
    UNT Flyer Guest
    There have been some interesting developments today.

    CHICAGO - The pilots of Southwest Airlines Flight 1248 were permitted to attempt a landing in extremely bad weather at Midway Airport because the low-cost carrier holds a special FAA waiver to operate below regular minimum-visibility safety regulations, federal officials said Wednesday.

    Pilots must be specially trained and log a required number of landings with a certified pilot before receiving their own certification to fly low-visibility landing at Midway with only one-half mile visibility, called a "31Z approach."

    From a safety standpoint, low-visibility landings are more acceptable when other factors are favorable. They include a clean, dry runway; a strong headwind to help slow the plane; and a long runway that doesn't penalize pilots for landing long and needing extra stopping distance.

    None of these favorable conditions existed for Flight 1248.
    The Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-700 that overran Chicago Midway airport’s runway 31C onto a road landed about 620m (2,000ft) along the 1,990m snow-contaminated runway with a tailwind, says the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
    So they were landing with special clearance for low visibility, with a tailwind, and hit the runway about 1/3 of the way along.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Naples, FL
    I retract my previous statement. I didn't know that what they did wasn't a standard procedure, or that the pilot didn't land in the landing zone.
    Anyone know the tailwind component?

  10. #10
    UNT Flyer Guest
    10 knots. And they took 18 seconds to reverse the engines.

  11. #11
    Reds_bear Guest
    Excrement occurs.

    If and when it comes time to blame someone, wait for the OFFICIAL NTSB report. NOT lawyers spewing dramatized sob stories of necks that were sore for a week and other coached statements ("I'll never drive a truck again!!! My life's over! Pay me my future earnings plus 10million extra for my pain..."). In fact, I don't doubt that the legal strategy here is to get settlements BEFORE the NTSB findings in case they don't work out "favorably."

    I feel for the parents and family of the poor child that died. But my feelings are the same towards litigation. Wait until we have answers.


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Colorado KAPA
    Originally posted by UNT Flyer
    10 knots. And they took 18 seconds to reverse the engines.
    It doesn't matter how long it takes to deploy the reversers or even if a crew elects to not use them. Landing distances are not predicated on the use of any type of reverse thrust, only brakes .

    RW31C @ MDW is 6522' with a 696' displaced threshold leaving 5826' of runway. If you fly the RW31C ILS, the glideslope will guide you to touchdown at about 4800' of runway remaining. A heavy 737, tailwind, moderate snow, contaminated runway, not a good situation.

    I have a friend who departed MDW in a Challenger 30 minutes before Southwest landed. He said it was snowing about 1 inch per hour and while they were waiting to take off, three other aircarriers landed and all reported braking action NIL on the last third of the runway.

  13. #13
    Originally posted by UNT Flyer
    Oh boy, here we go.

    Lawyers always search the deepest pockets, no matter how outrageous their claims of liability.
    Yeah! Trying to hold an airline responsible for running off a runway and killing a child sitting in a car on a street! Utterly outrageous!

  14. #14
    UNT Flyer Guest
    Midlife- I was talking about the city of Chicago and Boeing being named in the lawsuit. I think most everyone would agree the city was certainly not at fault, and the plane seems to have operated normally.

  15. #15
    ALFlyer Guest
    The story doesn't say that all passengers are suing SWA. It says "two" not "all those passengers" as you suggest. Do you know if they were seriously injured or not? What if they were? What if you were because someone did something stupid or even reckless? (I'm not saying that someone did something stupid in this situation because I don't know all the facts yet)

    And don't always blame lawyers for suing everyone in sight. Oftentimes, defendants who are obviously responsible for doing something wrong blame someone else for their misconduct. In civil litigation, this "blame the other guy" strategy causes the plaintiff to sue that other guy, even if he has done nothing wrong in his opinion. Otherwise, the jury is left wondering why the plaintiff didn't sue them.

    And one more point, would you trade money for the loss of a child? I hope not, but for purposes of justice all we have is a civil justice system that provides money as its form of remedy. This remedy is what causes people to change their negligent and reckless conduct. Without that incentive to change, they will continue with that course of conduct because it is cheaper to do so because the consequences of their conduct is shouldered by others.
    Last edited by ALFlyer; 12-22-2005 at 10:33.


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