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NY Appellate Court Decides if Airline Created a Dangerous Condition


A woman was schedule to fly from Logan Airport in Boston to New York. She was told that the flight will be late so she went to the bathroom. But as she was in the bathroom, her flight was called for boarding. She hurried to make it on time for her flight. She entered the gate and went down the tube to the airplane. She was the last to board the plane. As she neared the portion of the tube which connected with the door of the airplane, she had a slip and fall.

A flight attendant assisted her up and asked her if she was ok. She was immediately given an ice pack for her knee and the flight attendant went on the public address system of the airplane to ask if there was any doctor on the flight. A doctor volunteered to see the lady and gave her first aid.

A New York Injury Lawyer said the lady looked at the area where she had a slip and fall and noticed that there was dirt that was icy and wet on the lip of the tube that met up with the door of the airplane. She filed a suit in damages against the airliner for the personal injury she sustained due to her slip and fall.

The Airport Operations Lead Officer for the airline testified that the airplane was regularly cleaned. On icy or rainy days, the airplane was cleaned not only by the cleaning crew but the flight attendants check the tube for any water or snow accumulation. The employees have a broom and mop handy. They also had a carpet that they lay so that the passengers will walk on a dry surface.

The flight attendants were also trained to always check the entrance of the plane. They are trained to use handy paper towels to pat the area dry so that the passengers will walk onto the plane on a dry surface.

The flight attendant who assisted the lady testified on deposition that she told the lady not to run as there was no need to run because she was not going to miss the flight, but the lady did not break her pace.

The flight attendant also testified that the weather condition at that time had snow blowing. A Suffolk County Personal Injury Lawyer said she also testified that the tube did not make a tight seal around the plane’s door so that sometimes rain water and snow would come in.

The airlines moved for summary judgment asking that the complaint against it be dismissed. As evidence to support their motion, the airlines attached the deposition testimonies not only of the plaintiff but also the operations officer and the flight attendant. The airlines also attached a copy of the incident report and of the weather reports on that day.

The only question is whether or not the airlines has proven that it is entitled to a dismissal of the complaint against it.

The Court ruled that there is no evidence that the airlines created the dangerous condition which caused the lady to slip and fall. The fact that there was a foreign substance such as snow or rain water is not sufficient to prove negligence on the part of the airlines. There must be proof that the airlines or any of its employees put the foreign substance there. If there is not such evidence, then this negates negligence.

Further, there must be proof that the dangerous condition of having a foreign substance must have been there for a considerably sufficient length of time prior to the accident, allowing the airlines or any of its employees to see it and to remedy it. A Nassau County Personal Injury Lawyer said only in the instance that the airlines failed or refused to remedy the dangerous condition can it be said to have been negligent.

In this case, there were countless other passengers who boarded the plane ahead of the lady since she was the last to board the airplane. Those others may have tracked in the dirt and the snow or water. How the icy wet dirt got there is merely a subject of speculation which is not evidence.

Are you like the lady in this case? Did you slip and fall while boarding an airplane? Do you wish to file a damage suit but you are wondering if you have a cause of action? You need to speak to the New York Personal Injury Lawyers at Stephen Bilkis and Associates. Their New York City Personal Injury attorneys are willing to hear you out and render a legal opinion on the viability of your suit. Their NYC Personal injury lawyers can do research for you and gather evidence for you. The NY Personal Injury attorneys from Stephen Bilkis and Associates can represent you in settlement negotiations and in court. Call Stephen Bilkis and Associates today. Visit them at any of their offices in the New York area.

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