Family Sues After Airport Worker Killed in Baggage Accident
The family of Kendrick Darrell Hudson has filed a lawsuit against the city of Charlotte and American Airlines after their son was killed in a baggage vehicle accident.
According to the report, Hudson was running luggage on a vehicle called a tug when he attempted to avoid some other luggage that had fallen on the tarmac. He attempted to make a hard right turn, but couldn’t avoid the luggage. The tug rolled over and Hudson was killed in the accident.
Poor visibility and poor lighting at certain parts of the concourse caused workers to dub the area “Death Valley”. Nonetheless, the area remains as poorly lit as it was prior to Hudson’s death.
The Lawsuit Against the Airport
The lawsuit claims that despite the fact that the airline knew the area was dangerous due to poor lighting, they allowed the dangerous condition to persist and continue to allow the dangerous condition to persist. The airport may be worried that if they make changes to the lighting, it will be interpreted as a sign of guilt. Nonetheless, their employees continue to be at risk and the area known as Death Valley has a body count.
The lawsuit alleges that the airline is culpable for failing to replace broken lights or dimming lights. The airport claims that they commissioned a lighting study last year, but have only just received the results of that study. The airport claims that the study was necessary to determine whether or not improved lighting would interfere with landing planes.
The plaintiffs will attempt to recover punitive damages judging from the text of their complaint. The complaint states that the airport was not only negligent, but showed a wanton disregard for the rights and safety of others. This is the exact language that is typical in a complaint that is alleging gross negligence which allows plaintiffs to recover punitive damages.
Punitive damages are awarded by a court and jury when the defendant’s conduct was so egregious that it made some terrible tragedy inevitable. Unlike compensatory damages, punitive damages don’t compensate the victim for some injury. Instead, they are meant to punish the defendant for their outrageously careless misconduct.
If the plaintiffs win their lawsuit, American Airlines could be on the hook for a seven- or eight-figure settlement or jury award.
The family has also named Charlotte, NC in the lawsuit, but typically, local municipalities have sovereign immunity laws that protect them from punitive damages in personal injury lawsuits and cap the amount of damages that plaintiffs are allowed to recover.
The lawsuit has been filed in the State of Texas.
Talk to a Houston Personal Injury Attorney
If you’ve lost someone you love due to the carelessness or negligence of another party, you can hold that party accountable by filing a lawsuit. Call the Houston personal injury attorneys at the offices of Livingston & Flowers today for a free consultation.