airplane

Post-9/11 Pentagon Fatality Results in Awards for Daughters by Two Different Mothers

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Air travel was forever changed on 9/11/2001. Airport injury lawyer Doug Landau represented the families of an airline pilot, senior flight attendant, and passengers killed on that infamous day. In a tragic twist, he also helped the families of a worker killed in a post-911 accident.

In one of the more tragic cases of Herndon injury lawyer Doug Landau’s career, he was called upon to represent a worker who died in the aftermath of the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon outside of Washington DC.

The Abrams Landau team represented the family of the pilot of the jet that crashed into the Pentagon, as well as the senior flight attendant’s family, and those of passengers traveling.

The devastation did not stop on that infamous day.

A crack team of welders was brought in from Colorado to repair the damage to our nation’s military headquarters. One of these workers was fatally crushed by a steel beam girder that fell out of its placement sling.  He died instantly in a horrific manner.

Lawyer Landau was contacted, and undertook to represent the deceased worker’s middle school age daughter, living in Colorado with the employee’s ex-wife.

However, the decedent had divorced his first wife and mother of his daughter, and remarried.  And in a tragic twist, his new wife was pregnant, but did not give birth until sometime after the post 9/11 workplace accident.

So what happens next?

As the ex-wife and current wife could not agree for the case to be settled, Doug Landau was able to fashion an Award from the Virginia Worker’s Compensation Commission that provided payments to BOTH daughters equally, until such time as either:

  • the older daughter turned 18 or passed away, OR
  • the younger daughter predeceased her sister, in which case the other would receive the full amount of the death benefit.

In Virginia, fatal job accident cases can be paid up to 500 weeks. However, Landau knew that this statute can be extended if the child is in a full-time qualifying educational institution.

The child in Colorado was in school, and received benefits beyond her 18th birthday.

Landau also has won cases for children who are themselves above the age of majority, but who are disabled, such that they can get almost 10 years of weekly compensation payments.

If you or someone you know may be eligible for Worker’s Compensation benefits, and has questions about how best to proceed, please contact us at once as there are strict legal time limits that can forever bar a child, spouse, and other family members from receiving a dime.  Call us at 703-796-9555, or send an email.

If you are injured at an airport you must hire experienced legal counsel right away who knows how to build an “open and shut” case.

10 Hallmarks of an “Open and Shut” Airport Injury Case

If you are injured at an airport you must hire experienced legal counsel who knows how to build an “open and shut” case on your behalf.

The trial team at Abrams Landau, Ltd. was contacted by an out-of-state lawyer earlier this month for assistance in a case in which a traveler was struck by a rental car company employee on the airport premises.

Herndon injury lawyer Doug Landau explained to his colleague that an open and shut airport accident case has the following hallmarks:

  1. Pictures of the scene
  2. Videotape of the incident
  3. Witnesses that support the injured victim’s version of what happened
  4. Airport police or county sheriff’s investigation of the incident
  5. Prompt liability investigation to determine who is at fault
  6. Two or more written statements supporting the injured victim’s claims
  7. Physical evidence, such as torn clothing, damaged luggage, etc.
  8. Objective signs of injury which can be clearly perceived by medical professionals, as well as lay witnesses
  9. Prompt, appropriate medical treatment
  10. Records supporting good pre-injury health, and no significant, related pre-existing conditions or subsequent intervening or superseding accidents, illnesses etc.

Unfortunately, the trial team at Abrams Landau, Ltd. was unable to get involved with this particular case because:

  • They were contacted too late;
  • Almost no liability investigation had taken place; and
  • There were no objective signs of injury, despite the subsequent two years of medical treatment.

While lawyer Doug Landau’s first instinct is always to help, and his experience in handling and helping those injured in and around airports is well-known, it was simply too late to help.

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

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).

 

accidents caused by airport cleaning crews when there are no signs, barriers or cones warning travelers wet and slippery floors, can be one even where the accident itself is not captured on film.

“Almost” May be Good Enough to Win Airport Maintenance Case

accidents caused by airport cleaning crews when there are no signs, barriers or cones warning travelers wet and slippery floors, can be one even where the accident itself is not captured on film.
Accidents caused by airport cleaning crews when there are no signs, barriers, or cones warning travelers of wet and slippery floors, can be won even when the accident itself is not captured on film.

Although it is always preferable to have direct evidence to prove fault in an airport injury case, sometimes “almost ” having direct evidence is good enough.

Doug Landau has had several cases where the accident, or unsafe behavior, was captured on video surveillance in and around an international airport.

However, a recent case in which a client slipped and fell on wet floor near the arrivals exit was nevertheless successful despite not having video images of the accident itself.

The team at Abrams Landau, Ltd. was able to prevail because video images of the area adjacent to the accident showed the airport maintenance team using water and chemical solutions to clean the floor, but not putting up warning signs or barricades to prevent travelers from slipping, falling, and injuring themselves.

Furthermore, Landau had a witness in the form of his client’s daughter, who could testify as to her mother’s fall. This eyewitness could also give evidence as to the airport cleaning crew working nearby without any cones, warning signs, or barriers.

If you or someone you know has been injured due to unsafe conditions in an airport or other public place, and there are questions as to what laws apply, email or call Abrams Landau, Ltd. at once (703-796-9555).

Defense Verdict for FAA Doctor: Found NOT Liable for Failure to Diagnose Prostate Cancer in Pilot

As airport injury lawyer Doug Landau’s own personal doctor is a highly regarded FAA examiner who also clears his pilot clients to return to work, this case — as reported in the Virginia Lawyers Weekly (“VLW”) — caught Landau’s eye.

According tot he VLW report, this medical malpractice case involved allegations of delayed diagnosis of prostate cancer.

“The plaintiff was a successful real estate developer and former state government official. He alleged that the defendant practice group’s physician was negligent in failing to diagnose his prostate cancer by ordering PSA testing or otherwise counseling him about monitoring his prostate health over a four-year period after he turned 50.

The plaintiff alleged that the delayed diagnosis allowed his cancer to progress to incurable metastatic disease.

 Although he was in remission at the time of trial, the plaintiff’s experts opined that the delayed diagnosis made his treatment more involved and expensive. He also faced a high probability of recurrence and a significantly shortened life expectancy. The plaintiff is married with young children. Both the patient and his spouse gave compelling testimony about his fear of recurrence and the emotional impact of the alleged delay in diagnosis. His claim of substantial lost wages was withdrawn before trial in response to defense motions.

The plaintiff was a pilot, and presented to the defendant practice group every two years from 2002 through 2009 for Aviation Medical Exams, required by the FAA to maintain his pilot’s license. The physician, also a pilot, was certified to perform these exams. Prostate health screening is not within the usual scope of the FAA exams, but the plaintiff claimed that the doctor had agreed to be his “regular physician” and take care of all of his health needs at the same time. The patient claimed that the doctor performed digital rectal exams at each visit, which the physician denied and which was not recorded in the medical record Continue reading

Airline Customer Service Representative Wins Car Crash Case

When airline employees are injured off the airport premises and they are not charged with some duty for their employer, they can still bring a lawsuit against the unsafe defendants who caused their injury.

As an example, Dulles Airport accident lawyer Doug Landau noted the following Virginia Lawyers Weekly case report of a case handled by his friend Ed Allen of Richmond.

In this airline employee’s case, she sustained a fractured left wrist in a motor vehicle collision, requiring placement of an external fixator.

She missed four months from work at her long time job as a customer service representative for United Airlines at Dulles Airport.

Although her fracture healed in good alignment, she continues to experience intermittent pain and is unable to make a complete fist with her left hand. Her orthopedic expert testified by videotape deposition.

Three insurance policies applied:

  • GEICO offered $25,000 liability limits on behalf of defendant.
  • The Hartford offered their total underinsurance coverage exposure of $75,000.
  • Foremost Insurance would offer only $25,000 of their $50,000 underinsurance coverage limits, so the case went to trial.

Special damages included medical bills of $28,277 and lost earnings of $15,806. The plaintiff’s policy limits demand was for $150,000 (total insurance available). However, the insurance companies would only offer $125,000.

The Virginia jury’s verdict was for $243,000.

If you or someone you know or care for works for an airline and has been injured in an accident off the airport premises, 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