Category Archives: Airline employee job injury claims

Before passengers and crew can disembark an aircraft, the door must be opened by trained members of the flight crew. A jet's doors are extremely heavy, requiring a lot of energy to maneuver

Winning for an Injured Flight Attendant

Airplane door
Before passengers and crew can disembark an aircraft, the door must be opened by trained members of the flight crew. A jet’s doors are extremely heavy, requiring a lot of energy to maneuver

A young flight attendant was injured when lifting an aircraft door. She suffered a severed longhead biceps tendon and had surgery using orthopedic hardware for this SLAP tear.  However, some of the orthopedic hardware became loose, necessitating another operation on her right shoulder.

The airline’s workers’ comp insurance company denied the treatment, and her weekly wage loss indemnity benefits were cut off.

She came to Abrams Landau, Ltd. upon the kind referral of a fellow Florida injury lawyer. While the case was late in coming to this Herndon Virginia Law firm, we were nevertheless able to prepare for Court and put together a strong case for our client.

ABRAMS LANDAU was able to win her first Hearing and get the loose anchor in her shoulder reattached. The Airlines then sent undercover investigators to follow her around the Florida town where she lived.  They filmed her playing with her infant son and taking a hot tub at her home.

The insurance company terminated benefits.  However this hard-working woman had found that she could perform as a bank teller after the insurance representative told her that they had “closed their file” on her case. She eventually exceeded her pre-injury wage rate at the Bank of America in Pensacola !

When this young mother reached “maximum medical improvement,” airline injury lawyer Doug Landau had her get a permanency rating so that she could get a Permanent Partial Disability Award.

As she had not had any injuries to her right shoulder — either before or after her 2012 work accident — the insurance company did not mount any significant challenge to the Application for additional benefits that Dianna Meredith filed with the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission on behalf of this ABRAMS LANDAU client.

Lawyer Landau was able to negotiate a lump sum settlement so that the insurance company will not harass her or her family and she will be free to choose what doctors she wants to see, and not have to report her whereabouts, employment, etc., to the state workers’ compensation board.

If you or someone you know has been injured while working at airport, on an aircraft, or on the air operations area, and there are questions as to what laws apply, email or call Abrams Landau, Ltd. at once (703-796-9555).

airport ground crew and airline workers on the air operations area ("AOA") are at risk for permanent injury and disability at the busy U.S. international airports

Airport Ground Crew Injuries on the AOA

airport ground crew and airline workers on the air operations area ("AOA") are at risk for permanent injury and disability at the busy U.S. international airports
Airport grounds crew and airline workers on the air operations area (“AOA”) are at risk for permanent injury and disability at the busy U.S. international airports.

Airline personnel are at risk for injury due to accidents on the Air Operations Area (“AOA”) at busy international airports.

Nighttime flights, runway noise, and slippery winter conditions increase the risk of on-the-job accidents.  Because ground personnel are wearing hearing protection, they may not be aware of a luggage tug, fuel truck, or other small vehicle coming up behind them.

There are many distractions on the air operations area, and tight aircraft turnaround schedules.  Airline ground crew may be busy servicing several shifts at the same time, and in the rush to keep “on time” schedule, accidents can happen.

It is important for ground crew to seek prompt medical attention, and let their own family doctor know about any injuries, so they can get the best possible outcome.

It is good policy to coordinate all healthcare providers.

The family doctor knows the airline or airport worker’s health history better than the specialist for a runway accident.

Airline personnel may also have to undergo testing by an FAA physician before being allowed back on the air operations area for flight personnel, especially after a significant injury with time lost from work and strong narcotic medication prescriptions.

If you or someone you know has been injured while working on the Air Operations Area at an airport, and there are questions as to what laws apply, email or call Abrams Landau, Ltd. at once. 703-796-9555.

Drone Strikes Jet in the UNfriendly Skies Around the International Airport

After giving a presentation to the American Association of Justice on "Drone Law," Airline injury lawyer Doug Landau was able to change into his casual wear & explore Boca Raton, Florida with American, British & Canadian trial lawyers
After giving his multi-media presentation to the American Association of Justice on “Drone Law,” Airline injury lawyer Doug Landau was able to change into his casual wear & explore Boca Raton, Florida with American, British & Canadian trial lawyers

Just weeks after Doug Landau warned of the dangers of “Rogue Drones” and gave a presentation on “Drone Law” at the convention of American Trial Lawyers, a suspected drone struck a British Airways airliner. The international jet was beginning its landing at Heathrow Airport when it was hit.

The aircraft’s pilot reported to police that the front of the jet was hit on their return from Geneva, Switzerland on Sunday. The craft landed safely at the Heathrow Terminal with 132 passengers and five crew members aboard. Engineers examined the Airbus A320 and cleared it for its next flight. Nevertheless, this is precisely the dangerous conduct that lawyer Landau warned about in his multi-media presentation to the American Association for Justice, which has many members from England and other Commonwealth countries.

Landau’s presentation, “Who is Liable for Making the Skies Unfriendly ?” examined the explosion in popularity in recreational and commercial drone usage.  Lawyer Landau’s presentation pointed out the fact that the government was playing “catch up” to respond with laws and workable safety protocols after a number of “near misses” at American airports.

According to the British press, no arrests have been made, but the investigation continues. “Thankfully the aircraft landed safely but the incident highlights the very real dangers of reckless, negligent and some times malicious use of drones,” Chief Superintendent Martin Hendy, head of Metropolitan Police Service’s Aviation Policing Command, said in a statement. “We continue to work with the Civil Aviation Authority and other partners to tackle this issue and ensure that enthusiasts who fly drones understand the dangers and the law.” Landau notes that if the technology exists to track cell phones and trucks, why can’t drones be tracked so as to avoid crashes with large commercial or military jets ? 

The Civil Aviation Authority (the equivalent of the US Federal Aviation Administration) stated, “It is totally unacceptable to fly drones close to airports and anyone flouting the rules can face severe penalties including imprisonment.” Rules for drone pilots in the UK include making sure that these unmanned flying devices are always within the operator’s line of sight, not flying above 400 feet (122 meters), and staying away from airports and aircraft. British Airways stated, “Safety and security are always out first priority and we will give the police every assistance with their investigation.”

Everyone at ABRAMS LANDAU hopes that whomever was operating this drone is apprehended and that this incredibly dangerous behavior is dealt with by the courts in an appropriate manner.

AOA 2

Lots of Luggage Injuries are Losers

Airport Operations Area
Airport lifting injuries do not always result in a compensable claim, even when there is a permanent injury to an airline employee’s spine, shoulder, hip, or legs. The accident must satisfy the requirement of a “sudden accidental injury” for benefits to be paid.

If you work as an airport luggage loader or terminal porter, a back injury could make you eligible for workers compensation.

For example, under the Virginia workers compensation law, a sudden accidental injury can form the basis of a comp claim.  A workers comp claim can cover work-related medical treatment, partial wage loss, and permanency benefits.

However, if you have injured your spine, shoulder, hip, or legs from lifting a number of pieces of luggage, then the airport or airline’s insurance company may deny the claim as being from “cumulative trauma,” and not an accidental injury.

These kinds of lifting injury cases are very fact specific.

That’s why it is critical you hire an experienced workers compensation law firm as soon as possible.

If you or someone you know works for an airport or airline and has been injured while lifting heavy luggage, and there are questions as to what laws apply, email or call Abrams Landau, Ltd. at once (703-796-9555).

 

No Benefits for Airline Employee’s Unexplained Fall

“Not every workplace injury is recognized under the Virginia Workers Compensation law,” notes National Airport and Dulles Airport accident lawyer Doug Landau.  “In fact, many airport comp claims are denied by the airlines and airports authority under the restrictive laws of Virginia.”

In a case reported in Virginia Lawyers Weekly, an airline employee who fell from the bed of a pickup truck while delivering airplane parts did not win workers’ comp benefits because there was no evidence that his fall arose out of the conditions of his employment, according to the Virginia Court of Appeals.

An unexplained fall is not compensable in the absence of showing that the injury “arose out of” the employment. In the Hersl v. United Airlines case, the injured claimant could not remember any details concerning his fall or other activities on the day of the accident.

A coworker’s testimony failed to explain the cause of the fall. Although the coworker observed the accident, he candidly admitted he did not know why claimant fell. His testimony established that claimant was walking toward the tailgate of the pickup truck carrying a package before he fell from the truck, but it failed to suggest any explanation as to the cause of the fall.

The record before the Virginia Workers Compensation Commission failed to establish that claimant fell due to any work-related duties or environmental conditions. Claimant did not present any evidence suggesting Continue reading

Top Virginia Workers Compensation Commission mediator & Deputy Commissioner Temple Mayo and former Commissioner Larry Tarr flank Herndon workplace injury lawyer Doug Landau at the VWC's Headquarters in Richmond, Virginia

Insurance Company’s Rejection of Claim Allows Employee’s Rejection of Panel Doctor

Top Virginia Workers Compensation Commission mediator & Deputy Commissioner Temple Mayo and former Commissioner Larry Tarr flank Herndon workplace injury lawyer Doug Landau at the VWC's Headquarters in Richmond, Virginia
Top Virginia Workers Compensation Commission (“VWC”) mediator & Deputy Commissioner Temple Mayo and former Full Commissioner Larry Tarr flank Herndon workplace injury lawyer Doug Landau at the VWC’s Headquarters in Richmond, Virginia

Normally, when a Virginia Workers Compensation claim is accepted by the employer and their insurance company, the injured employee must choose a doctor from the panel of physicians offered by the insurer. If the disabled worker fails to choose an attending physician from the panel, then the carrier can deny treatment as “unauthorized.” “The panel is one of the ways that the insurance companies control the costs of workers compensation claims,” according to Loudoun and Fairfax County comp counsel Doug Landau. However, lawyer Landau notes that there are exceptions Continue reading

plane

Pilots’ Injuries on the Ground are more Frequent than Those on Board

plane
An airline pilot is vulnerable to injuries after a flight is over. Tripping, slipping, or bumping are common for a pilot or crewmember, exhausted after a long flight.

While an airline pilot’s job requires significant safety protocols for the safety of the souls on board, for 30 years Doug Landau has been helping airline employees with their own injury and disability cases.

The majority of injuries to pilots have occurred after these highly trained professionals disembark their craft. Even after the flight has landed, the airline crew must perform safety checks and secure the craft.

However, they may be exhausted after an international or intercontinental flight, so it’s tripping hazards, slipping mishaps, and other dangerous areas in the airport and concourse that cause career-ending injuries.

An exhausted copilot navigator may not see a spilled coffee or tripping hazard after a 12 to 20 hour flight from the far east or Australia. Likewise, when performing the aircraft safety check on the outside of the airplane, a pilot can trip, knock her head, or slip on a patch of oil or de-icer, with permanent consequences.

If the injury was caused by a company that is not a subsidiary of the crew’s employer, there may be a third-party case to get additional reimbursement on top of the Worker’s Compensation benefits.

If you or someone you know has been injured while working at an airport or on and aircraft and there are questions as to what laws apply, email or call Abrams Landau, Ltd. at once (703-796-9555).

Drone Injury and Safety Policy Leads To Registration

dkwl @ Full VWCThe Association for Justice (“AAJ”) morning litigation program tends to feature “cutting edge” and merging areas of the law.

When Doug Landau submitted his paper on the law of drones, there was little case law or regulation, despite reports of near misses with helicopters and airplanes at major international airports.

Given the Virginia Motorsports Park drone crash and other injury producing incidents caused by these unmanned, remote-controlled flying machines, Landau noted, “It will be only a matter of time before serious, permanent or fatal injury results from the unsafe, unregulated use of such potentially dangerous technology.”

Landau regularly assists injured airport workers and travelers with their accident and workers compensation claims. He adds, “there are drones flying about or near the major airports, with no oversight or coordination. This makes no sense when folks with remote controlled toy cars and planes must get a license. You do not want a toy or a drone using the same frequencies or flight path as a commercial jet or private plane. Especially as drones become larger and less expensive, the day will come when an errant drone takes down an aircraft.”

As is true for most peer-reviewed publications, Continuing Legal Education programs, and speeches, Lawyer Landau’s drone aircraft presentation was completed in the Fall of 2015, well in advance of the July, 2016 Annual Convention in Los Angeles, California.

Landau was pleased to see that the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) has taken a measured to approach in instituting safety policies for this new technology. These pilotless aircraft have become become smaller, cheaper and more popular. While these flying machines have numerous beneficial applications — mapping remote, inaccessible areas; inspecting cellphone towers; providing mobile traffic monitors; assisting with animal population studies; law enforcement investigation; shooting movies or compiling multidimensional real estate portfolios — they are also a threat to other aircraft.

Policy makers have had to address the potential safety problems. Not unsurprisingly, the Federal Aviation Administration has taken the lead in regulating drones. Last month, it started requiring users to register their unmanned aircraft. It has also proposed rules that would limit drone flights to daylight hours and require commercial users of small drones to keep their aircraft within their sight.

The FAA’s press release quotes U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx as stating, “Make no mistake: unmanned aircraft enthusiast are aviators, and with that title comes a great deal of responsibility. Registration gives us an opportunity to work with these users to operate their unmanned aircraft safely. I’m excited to welcome these new aviators into the culture of safety and responsibility that defines American innovation.” Registration is still free until January 20th, and drone owners may register through a web-based system at www.faa.gov/uas/registration.

The FAA has also proposed rules to limit flights to daylight hours, keeping the aircraft within sight of the operators, and other safety protocols. Landau applauds the Administration’s steps to make the sky safer, and he hopes the rules for commercial and recreational drone use are enforced for the protection of the public and airline personnel.

In the next post, the issue of privacy is also being evaluated by the Federal Government in light of differing rules by the states and Constitutional questions.

heavy lifting

Airport Worker Lifting Injuries

heavy lifting
Airport personnel are particularly susceptible to lifting injuries, especially as the airlines’ policies of charging more for checked luggage encourage travelers to pack more into their bags.

With back pain one of the leading causes of disability from work in the United States, it comes as no surprise that lifting injuries are not uncommon in the airport setting.

Especially this holiday season — with an increase in air travel and tight deadlines for shipping packages — airport personnel are under pressure to move travelers and their baggage quickly.

Further compounding the problem and leading to an increase in spine injuries is the fact that many airlines are charging for checked  and even carry-on baggage. This has the unintended result of airline passengers cramming more into both their carry-on and checked bags.

This in turn paves the way for more lifting, carrying, catching, and pulling luggage accidents at the airport.

According to Dulles International, Reagan National, and Baltimore Washington National Airport accident lawyer Doug Landau, “The increased density of luggage simply sets up airport personnel at check-in counters, curbside intake, and elsewhere around the terminal, for a greater likelihood of workplace injury.  The Landau Law Shop sees many unfortunate lifting accidents, where no one is at fault, however the weight of the baggage was a recipe for disaster.”

Landau recalls one case in which a ramp supervisor “chipped in” to help his crew offload marching band instruments, as a school from the midwest was to perform at the White House.

When lifting a tuba in a case, he felt a pop in his back, and knew that he had injured his spine.

Several surgeries later, it was abundantly clear that he could never go back to doing his job on the air operations area (“AOA”).

While we at the Landau Law Shop eventually settled his case, his heroics — and trying to get this marching band to perform for the president on time — led to a career-ending injury, and only the limited benefits of the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act.

If you or someone you know is an airport worker who has been injured lifting heavy luggage or other items on the job, and there are questions as to what laws apply, email or call Abrams Landau, Ltd. at once (703-796-9555).

Airport worker

You CAN be Clumsy, a Klutz, Butterfingers or just Plain Accident Prone and STILL Win a Workers Comp Claim

Airport worker
Even if you trip over your own power cord while on-the-job, you may be entitled to a workers’ comp award in Virginia.

“Accidents will happen, especially if you’re clumsy or inattentive,” notes International Airport injury lawyer Doug Landau.

“However, even if you trip over your own power cord, you can still win your Virginia workers’ compensation claim if your injury arises out of and in the course of your employment.”

If a co-worker bumps into you — “Laurel & Hardy” style — and you break your arm, again, you can likely win the case as long as you were not engaged in horseplay.”

For workplace injury cases, it is important to have experienced legal counsel, especially in unwitnessed airport or “self-inflicted” accident cases.

Evidence must be secured immediately.

If you or someone you know has been injured in a workplace accident at an airport, and there are questions as to what laws apply, email or call Abrams Landau, Ltd. at once (703-796-9555).