All posts by Doug Landau

Incheon Airport

Movie Theater, Golf Course, Spa, and More All in One Airport?

Most travelers know of Duty Free stores in airports all over the Korean Airworld, but did you know that some airports have museums, ice skating rinks and hospitals? Better yet, have you ever been to one of these high-ranked airports?

Abrams Landau‘s Education Director Stephanie Yoon recently went to South Korea’s Incheon Airport which has all these amenities and more!

The Airports Council International (ACI) has consistently given Incheon Airport of South Korea high rankings in various categories in its Airport Service Quality (ASQ) Awards. For instance, Incheon Airport has even received special recognition by the ACI Director and is listed in the General Roll of Excellence for having been ranked first for over five years. Incheon Airport ranks 3rd in the 2017 Skytrax World Airport Awards, or the Passengers Choice Awards. The Skytrax World Airport Awards utilize large customer satisfaction surveys on a global scale with over 13.82 million airport survey questionnaires completed annually.

Incheon Airport offers a variety of unique amenities and facilities including a spa, movie theater, golf course, indoor gardens, ice skating rink, and even a Korean cultural heritage museum. In addition, Incheon Airport will utilize life-sized robots to aid customers and keep floors clean. The life-sized robots, known as Troika, are made by LG electronics and will be in use starting July of 2017. Troika assists customers by providing flight information, escorting people to gates if necessary, and displaying weather news and airport maps.

If you, or someone you care for, has been injured in an accident at an airport, whether in the terminal, on the AOA, on an airplane or other air travel related accident and there are questions about what laws apply, e-mail or call us at Abrams Landau, Ltd. (703-796-9555) at once.

Dulles Airport

Why are travel injury cases more complex, expensive and difficult?

One of the main reasons that travel injury cases are more difficult is because the incident, place of medical care and the injured person’s home tend to be completely different locations. The plaintiff typically lives in one state, gets injured in transit in a second state but usually wants to continue his or her journey, so medical care occurs in a third state.

airport injuryTherefore, gathering the necessary evidence is also more complicated. Bringing a doctor from out-of-state to trial, or having their videotape deposition at their out-of-state offices, can be very expensive. Plus, witnesses may be from other sites and countries, as well! Witnesses are reimbursed for their travel and lodging, and different states have their own rules for what a doctor or witness can be compelled to do.

The Abrams Landau, Ltd. airport injury legal team has helped many travelers and airline employee injured while traveling for vacation or business, and these cases all pose their own unique issues. The important thing is to get experienced counsel involved right away and to secure the evidence so that the case can be proved in court even years later. Too often we are contacted too late to be of any assistance, as witnesses disappear, memories fade and videos are erased or lost.

If you or someone you know or care for has been injured as the result of an airport terminal, airplane or other travel related accident and there are questions about what laws apply, e-mail or call us at ABRAMS LANDAU, Ltd. (703-796-9555) at once.

Unknown-17

NextGen: Saving Fuel, Money and YOUR Time

Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) and other Washington, D.C. area airports are undergoing a technological revolution to replace 1940s technology and propel your next flight into the 21st century. The Federal Aviation Administration and aviation community have a joint program to modernize the airways. Soon radio technology will be replaced by more precise GPS in order to modernize the National Airspace System. The program is called “NextGen,” and it consists of equipment and procedures for getting your plane from gate to gate. This systemic improvement will result in seconds saved, gallons of jet fuel not wasted, and CO2 emissions prevented. However, as pointed out in an article in Time magazine, the push to “Modernize the Skies” may add up to be “the most comprehensive investment in the backbone of the nation’s skies in history.”

For example, instead of leaving miles of space between airline jets, the newer GPS system will allow for more precise jet placement and spacing. The new NextGen system gives flight controllers updates every second, instead of every 5-12 seconds, as under the older system. Also, with jets traveling t speeds of 500 mph, this is a huge safety improvement. Flights can now be safely sent off more closely. Furthermore, approach and landing protocols have been updated to use the GPS system, which shaves minutes off flights. For a snapshot on taxi times at Washington Dulles International Airport (“IAD”), click here for the DC area airport’s NextGen Scorecard.

This NextGen technology may also clear the way for autonomous flights, addressing the issue of drones getting in the day of passenger aircraft (or each other!). With over 21 million passengers per year, this increase in safety and efficiency will pay huge dividends. Dulles Airport is in the top 25 busiest airports in North America, both with regard to passenger traffic AND cargo volume. Furthermore, one FAA study estimates the benefits of the NextGen program to be $160.6 billion through the year 2030, including a reduction in the use of jet fuel in the amount of 2.8 billion gallons. Less time sitting on the runway or holding in the air saves airfreight companies money. Shaving minutes off flight times for commercial passengers through the use of the NextGen system not only translates into money saved for the airlines, but benefits passengers as well. Saving time, money and the planet while increasing safety are the reasons that the NextGen system seems to be a success on all fronts.

reagan airport

Reagan National Airport Getting $1 Billion Upgrade

Reagan National Airport, located in Arlington, VA, has been around for more than 75 years now. Originally built to “comfortably” handle 15 to 16 million passengers a year, it is now serving more than 23 million, and the numbers are only growing. It serves more passengers than Dulles International Airport, an airport 14 times its size.

In order to better accommodate the significant increase in passengers, a $1 billion renovation has ensued and it is expected to be completed in 2021. The project will include a new commuter concourse on the airport’s north side. According to the Washington Post, they will construct a building to replace Gate 35X, “a notorious choke point where travelers, in rain, sun or snow, are required to board shuttle buses to get to their planes.” 1.2 million travelers pass through this “confusing” gate each year.

The project also includes road improvements, a new parking garage and changes to National Hall, the main, glass-enclosed walkway on the concourse level of Terminals B and C that features shops and restaurants. The upgrade will be paid for by airlines, not taxpayers. Since some of the work will require blocking traffic lanes, much of the work will be done at night.

airport

Are Your Prescription Glasses Covered From a Workplace Injury?

Is there a limit to how many body parts can be covered by workers compensation?

If there are medical records that prove the injuries are because of the workplace accident and the defendants—typically the employer and insurer—agree that they are compensable workplace injuries, then no, there is no limit to how many body parts can be covered by workers comp.

In the case of one of our clients, Mr. A, on top of several bodily injuries, he also got new prescription eyeglasses covered due to his on-the-job injury. He was working as an airport ramp service agent, which involved loading and unloading airplanes.

On June 18, 2015, due to a heavy rainstorm, passengers were deplaning and Mr. A was giving them umbrellas. Then, all of a sudden, Mr. A was hit by a metal staircase/ramp that was blown away from the plane.

The case went to court and Abrams Landau, Ltd. aided Mr. A in making a claim for these injuries: left elbow, left shoulder (pain), left arm (contusion), neck (cervical strain), TMJ, left hip (pain), left knee (contusion), left ankle (sprain), & right zygomatic arch fracture. Mr. A received Temporary Total Disability (TTD) benefits beginning June 19, 2015 and continuing of $333.68/week based on a pre-injury Average Weekly Wage (AWW) of $500.52. Lifetime medical benefits were also awarded.

Mr. A also made a claim to have his prescription glasses covered, but the employer and insurer defended the claim on the grounds that the need for replacement eyeglasses is not reasonable, necessary or causally related to the work accident.

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Airport security

TSA Collected $765,000 in Loose Change from Airport Security Bins in 2015

Have you ever had to take out loose change from your pockets before going through airport screenings? Most likely you were in a rush, having trouble keeping track of all the different items you had to take out and take off and place haphazardly into the security bins, and were more concerned about not forgetting your wallet, watch and electronics. Ever wondered what happened to your coins? Did you know that there’s a specific law about what should happen to your coins?

49 USC § 44945(a) Disposition of Unclaimed Money.— [U]nclaimed money recovered at any airport security checkpoint shall be retained by the Transportation Security Administration and shall remain available until expended for the purpose of providing civil aviation security as required in this chapter.

According to a TSA report, “Unclaimed money is money that passengers inadvertently leave behind at airport screening checkpoints. In most cases, this consists of coins that passengers remove from their pockets so that metal detectors do not sound.”

An ABC News article wrote, “The biggest donors to the TSA last year [2015] were passengers at Los Angeles International Airport, who left behind $55,086.39 in change. Folks at Miami International Airport left $50,955.58 and at New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport left behind $43,715.81. Approximately $9,265.25 of the total funds left behind and collected by the TSA was foreign currency.”

In total, approximately $765,000 was collected in loose change in 2015. Congress continues to debate the Loose Change Act, which would give the money to certain non-profit organizations instead.

airport security

Do You Know How Many Guns Are Confiscated from Airport Travelers?

It may be hard to imagine that you can forget you’re carrying around a loaded handgun, but the majority of the 3,391 airport gun seizures last year in the U.S. were because of “carelessness.” According to a recent article in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “firearms confiscated from mostly forgetful, gun-toting travelers at Virginia’s top five airports, including Richmond International, jumped 21%  last year, following a national trend.”

The number of firearms detected and seized at TSA checkpoints rose from 58 in 2015 to 70 in 2016 at Virginia’s five largest airports—Dulles, Reagan, Washington National, Norfolk, Richmond and Newport News. Dulles led all other state airports last year with 24 weapons seized.

Airport gun seizures across the U.S. rose 28% last year, and since 2010, they’ve escalated 200%. Law enforcement officials and aviation security experts believe the trend on a national scale is primarily the result of more people legally carrying concealed handguns for self-protection.

In the aftermath of the recent shooting at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (“FLL”), the increase in weapons coming into airports should be alarming. On January 6, Esteban Santiago, a 26-year-old Iraq War veteran, stepped off his Delta Airlines flight, retrieved his 9mm Walther handgun from his bag and opened fire on travelers, killing five and wounding six.

The continual increase in travelers carrying firearms and the FLL shooting—the worst airport attack in U.S. history—should encourage airports and airlines to increase their security, especially in baggage claim areas, where guard duties are largely left to the city and county law enforcement agencies at most facilities.

Although the shooting occurred outside the security checkpoint in the baggage claim area, it may be still the airline’s responsibility. Read more about it here. If you or someone you know or care for has been injured as the result of an airport terminal, airplane or other air travel related accident and you have questions as to what laws apply, email or call us at ABRAMS LANDAU, Ltd. (703-796-9555) at once.

Getting air travelers safely to their destinations includes more than just safety on the jet; care for air passengers at the gates and in the terminals requires more under the law of "Common Carriers"

Shooting Outside Security Checkpoint in Baggage Area May Still Be Airlines Responsibility

Getting air travelers safely to their destinations includes more than just safety on the jet; care for air passengers at the gates and in the terminals requires more under the law of "Common Carriers"
Getting air travelers safely to their destinations includes more than just safety on the jet. The airlines’ duty of care for air passengers at the gates and in the terminals requires more under the legal doctrine of “Common Carriers”

A mentally imbalanced shooter at the Fort Lauderdale Florida Airport may have opened up several airlines to potential liability claims by the injured travelers and the families of those who died. Last week’s shooting at the Hollywood Fort Lauderdale International Airport baggage claim area presents questions of responsibility for the harms and losses to the innocent airline passengers. Clearly those airport employees and airline crew members who may have been injured in the attack may have recourse under the Workers Compensation law of the states where they were employed. However, the negligence claims of passengers and their families may be more complicated than the workers “no fault” compensation claims. Continue reading

Airport employees may be transporting murder weapons that may harm passengers before they get out of the airport. The Fort Lauderdale Airport shooting demonstrates the dangers to travelers outside of the "security area" but still on the airport grounds

Virginia Victim in Fort Lauderdale Airport Shooting

Airport employees may be transporting murder weapons that may harm passengers before they get out of the airport. The Fort Lauderdale Airport shooting demonstrates the dangers to travelers outside of the "security area" but still on the airport grounds
Airport employees may be transporting weapons that may harm passengers before they get out of the airport. The Fort Lauderdale Airport shooting demonstrates the dangers to travelers outside of the “security area” but still on the airport grounds

Five people were killed and six more were injured in the shooting Friday at the Fort Lauderdale Airport. There is a surveillance video that shows the moment the shooter took his weapon out and started firing at people’s heads in the baggage collection area of Fort Lauderdale – Hollywood International Airport (“FLL”). The gunman captured on the videotape is Esteban Santiago. He has been charged with performing an act of violence against a person at an airport serving international civil aviation and two other counts, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida. The charges could lead to the death penalty if he is convicted. His victims included a grandfather from Virginia Beach, Virginia and a grandmother Continue reading

baggage loading airplane

Airline Baggage Loader May Have TWO Claims From Fall Caused By Spilled Jet Fuel

Airport workers injured on the AOA, in the terminal or "sterile areas" may have not only a valid workers comp claim, but also a "3rd party case" against the people who actually caused the crash, fall or other incident
Airport workers injured on the AOA, in the terminal or “sterile areas,” may not only have a valid workers’ comp claim, but also a “3rd party case” against the people who actually caused the crash, fall or other incident

Work on the Air Operations Area (“AOA”) can be hazardous. Workers injured while getting jets ready for their next flight usually have a workers’ compensation claim with their employer. However, when an airline employee is harmed by the unsafe conduct of an airport worker employed by a different company, the injured victim may also have a case against the negligent person and their employers according to Washington Dulles (“IAD”) and Reagan National (“DCA”) Airports lawyer Doug Landau, of the Herndon law firm Abrams Landau, Ltd.  

For example, if an airline baggage loader slipped and fell during a late night shift at IAD on jet fuel carelessly spilled by workers of another company, the airline employee would be able to get their medical bills covered by their own employer’s workers’ comp insurance company,  partial wage replacement, reimbursement for travel, prescriptions, etc., and potential future permanency payments as well. In addition, this disabled airline worker could also bring a claim against the fuel truck operator and their employer for “negligence.” This claim is not required, but the losses a negligence case can cover are far greater than the limited medical bill payment and partial wage replacement benefits allowed under the Workers’ Comp laws of many states. Continue reading