Here today, gone tomorrow: Airline Employees Are Not Easily Located

After an injury at an airport or onboard an aircraft, tracking down witnesses quickly is critically important. Witnesses memories may fade, people may move, get married (and change their names) or they may take a job with a different company. Metropolitan Washington Airport injury lawyer Doug Landau notes, “The sooner the liability investigation begins, the sooner determinations as to fault can be solidified. The more you wait, or the longer the delays, the greater the likelihood that evidence will get lost, witnesses will become difficult to locate and the information needed to prove negligence will be gone.”

Flight attendants may not be assigned to a specific airport.  Flight attendants may have a specific location they are based out of, but they actually often do not live “in base.”  Many in the aviation community “commute” (sometimes across country!) to get to their base. 
“Here today, gone tomorrow” aptly describes witnesses and especially flight crew members who might be witnesses to an airport or in-flight injury. It is important to secure eye witness information as soon as possible.

A former ABRAMS LANDAU client was a pilot who lived in Virginia, but flew out of Newark (“EWR”) International Airport in New Jersey, so he hopped small jet to get to work almost every week. Another client who was in ticketing at Washington Dulles Airport (“IAD”), drove down to Virginia to work several days each week from her home in Bergan County, Northern New Jersey, near where Doug grew up. She even had another job at a local restaurant on the days she was not at Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority airport  at Dulles. Doug Landau is aware of flight crew members who have been based in LAX, SEA, and PDX all within the last 3 years, but who have always lived in Vancouver! Another pilot-client flew for El Al out of New York City & Toronto, but had his home in Reston Virginia & rented small apartments in Tel Aviv & Germany! Landau had a client who was given a van by a fueling company so that he could drive back and forth between Dulles and Reagan National Airport every day when he was not out of the DC Metro area.  There are also flight attendants and pilots that stay in “crash pads” when they live in a different location than where they are based. This is often in case they have a really early show and cannot commute that morning or if they get in really late and cannot catch a flight home until the next day.  Lawyer Landau has had clients who regularly make use of these “crash pads” with their crew mates with whom they like to work, fly & travel. Flight crews (flight attendants and pilots) are then often assigned a 2, 3, or 4-day string of trips across country in which they have various hotel stays in different locations each night.  They are not just going back and forth from their base. 

So how do yo track down the flight attendant, pilot or other airline employee who may have valuable information as to an aviation injury? If the Landau Law Shop cannot locate them through pre-suit investigation, then using the litigation tools in Pre-Trial Discovery can often yield helpful information. We will send out Interrogatories, which are questions to be answered under oath, via representative of the defendant airline or airport. The Landau law team will also send Requests for Production of documents and things. Very often this will yield the crew lineup, as well as incident or accident reports, and other valuable information. In addition, Depositions, which are the oral examination under oath of relevant witnesses can divulge additional identification of crew members and grounds crew in an airport injury or in-flight accident case. These tools that the experienced air injury team at ABRAMS LANDAU routinely uses can very often get material witness information and ultimately a full picture of exactly what happened.
If you, or someone you care about, has been injured onboard an aircraft, deploying from a jet or while traveling through an airport, and there are questions as to the law or how to get help, please contact us at once.