Week 5 Research Paper Rough Draft
The Case of the Unfortunate Pilot
(15 Points/15% of Final Grade)
On December 13, 2013, Soar Airlines Flight 13, a Boeing 737, was scheduled to depart Baltimore BWI Airport (“BWI”) for a routine flight to New York Kennedy Airport (“JFK”). Departure time was 7:00 a.m. The aircraft along with the crew had laid over in Baltimore the night before.
At 0615, the pilots and flight attendants arrived at the airport and proceeded through security. While passing through, a Transportation Security Agency (TSA) inspector thought he smelled alcohol on the breath of the captain of the flight, John Budweiser. He told Capt Budweiser to wait a second and walked over to his supervisor for advice. The supervisor told him to contact Soar Airlines’ Station Manager. While the inspector was talking with his supervisor, Capt Budweiser became agitated and started yelling threatening remarks and charged toward the inspector swinging his flight bag at him. The inspector tried ducking and fell backwards suffering an injury to his left arm. When the Station Manager arrived on the scene Capt Budweiser was standing near the inspector. With the exception of the First Officer, the rest of the flight crew had proceeded to the aircraft.
The inspector explained to the Station Manager that he thought Capt Budweiser had been drinking. This presented a major problem for the Station Manager. The flight needed to depart and had a full day of operations ahead. The Station Manager was also aware that two off-duty pilots of the airline were traveling on the flight back to New York. Both were only qualified First Officers on the 737.
The Station Manager then contacted the airline’s Central Dispatch and explained the problem. Because of the need to get the aircraft moving, Central Dispatch decided to make the original First Officer of the flight the pilot in command and assigned one of the off duty pilots as First Officer.
The flight departed one hour late.
Upon its arrival at New York Kennedy Airport, Flight 13 was ordered to taxi to gate 5 at Terminal 2. As it approached the gate, the Pilot in Command, the original First Officer, was unable to stop the aircraft, causing it to roll into the side of the terminal. The force of the crash shattered a large window overlooking the ramp and also caused a check-in desk to topple over. A computer on the desk broke away and landed on the foot of a waiting passenger, breaking it. In addition, several people were slightly injured from the flying glass. At the same time a temporary power outage occurred and set off alarms throughout the terminal. An escalator about 300 yards from the gate also suddenly stopped causing a heavy bag at the top of the escalator to fall back and injure a person just getting on the escalator.
All in all, two people were seriously injured: (1) the passenger hit by the falling computer and (2) the person getting on the escalator who was hit by the heavy bag. In addition, one of the passengers (3) on Flight 13, because of its lateness as well as the delay due to the incident at the gate, missed a connection to an overseas flight that only operated once a week, causing him to miss an important meeting with the government of a Central Asian republic that would have secured him a multi-million dollar contract for his company. He claimed injury for the loss of the business deal.
You are a junior lawyer on the staff of the General Counsel for Soar Airlines. Your boss has asked you to research the following:
1. What civil action could the TSA inspector take against Captain Budweiser? How? Does Capt Budweiser have a defense under Intentional Torts against a civil action? Why? Describe in detail all aspects of this case.
2. The accident at Kennedy Airport was a clear case of negligence under the doctrine of Res Ipsa Loquitur. What causes of action could the three injured parties at Kennedy Airport take for their injuries? Why? Discuss each plaintiff. Identify each potential defendant. What kind of defenses would be available to each? Describe in detail all aspects of each plaintiff’s case and the potential defenses that could be raised by the defendants.
To be applied in terms of both Plaintiffs and Defendants
Causation in Fact (Actual Cause)
Defenses to torts
Duty of Care
Orbit of Danger
Superseding or Intervening Event
Week 5 Research Paper Rough Draft PROJECT ONE The Case of the Unfortunate Pilot (15 Points/15% of Final Grade) On December 13, 2013, Soar […]