Dozens of people, including students, were treated in the Los Angeles Area for minor injuries after an airplane with mechanical problems dumped jet fuel at a low altitude while returning to LAX for an emergency landing. The plane was identified as Delta Air Lines Flight 89 – a Boeing 777 on route to Shanghai. The incident occurred shortly before noon on Tuesday (January 14, 2020).
According to the Los Angeles County Fire Department, the incident was initially reported at Park Avenue Elementary School located in the 8000 block of Park Avenue in Cudahy (about 14 miles east of the airport). A total of thirty-one people – a combination of children and adults – complained of minor injuries as the airplane dropped fuel over the school’s playground. All patients were treated on campus. Approximately seventy county firefighters and paramedics responded to this school.
Park Avenue Elementary School was not the only school affected, however. Jordan High School (in the Florence-Firestone area) and 93rd Street Elementary School (in the Green Meadows area) were also affected. At these two schools, sixteen more people were treated for minor injuries.
In South Gate, San Gabriel Avenue Elementary and Tweedy Elementary were also affected. Between these schools, an additional six people were treated for minor injuries. At Graham Elementary, located in the Florence-Graham area just a short distance away – one other person received treatment for minor injuries.
One preschool in Downey, Gallatin Preschool, was also affected. Seven other people at the preschool received treatment for their minor injuries.
Throughout all affected schools, a total of sixty-one people were affected (originally, this number was much lower at forty-two). Luckily, no one suffered any injuries that required transportation to a hospital. The minor injuries suffered by all affected parties were treated at the campuses. The injuries consisted of skin irritation, eye irritation, and sore throat (likely from breathing in the fumes of the fuel).
Although no evacuations were ordered because of the incident, the Los Angeles Unified School District’s Office of Environment Health and Safety was dispatched.
The incident has left the community complaining of the fuel’s odor. The community in Cudahy has even found that they could rub off fuel residue left on their cars with their fingers. The fire department, however, has stated that they have not found any unsafe levels of chemicals in the air. Regardless, the Department of Public Health has urged residents to avoid any direct contact with fuel residue (i.e. do not use fingers to rub it off cars).
LAUSD has dispatched its Office of Environmental Health and Safety to the schools affected by the incident.
After the incident, Delta released the following statement:
“Shortly after takeoff, Flight 89 from LAX to Shanghai experienced an engine issue requiring the aircraft to return quickly to LAX. The aircraft landed safely after a release of fuel, which was required as part of normal procedure to reach a safe landing weight. We are in touch with Los Angeles Word Airports and the LA County Fire Department and share concerns regarding reported minor injuries to adults and children at [the schools] in the area.”
The Federal Aviation Administration also released a statement. The Federal Aviation Administration states that “fuel [must] be dumped over designated unpopulated areas.” According to the statement, a release of fuel at high altitudes allows “the fuel to [atomize] and [disperse] before it reaches the ground.”
The incident has shaken the community and made rise to many questions. Specifically, many people want to know how this incident happen and whether anyone could be held accountable. If you or a member of your family suffered any type of harm related to this incident, you might have grounds to pursue a claim. For more information, it is essential that you seek legal assistance with the experts at Downtown L.A. Law Group as soon as possible. Our lawyers are ready to evaluate your claim and provide you with the guidance that you need to take legal action for the harm suffered.
What Led to this Incident?
What happened? What led to the incident? According to reports, the Boeing 777 bound for Shanghai took off from LAX when it suddenly began experiencing engine problems, forcing it to return to the airport. According to reports, there was an emergency fuel release to reduce landing weight; the aircraft landed safely at the airport.
There is no doubt that the fuel was released as a necessary response to an emergency; however, could the emergency have been avoided if the issue had been caught before takeoff?
The community has been left with the following questions:
- Why was the aircraft allowed to take off if it had mechanical issues?
- Why wasn’t the mechanical engine identified and addressed prior to its takeoff from LAX?
- Who failed to identify/address the hazard on the plane prior to takeoff?
- Could the need for the emergency landing have been prevented altogether?
- Could the fuel have been dumper over another area or from a higher altitude?
All airplanes go through many inspections that ensure that they are completely safe for air travel – this is important to keep crews safe, passengers safe, and the community safe. Whenever a mechanical issue “suddenly arises” in mid-air, people naturally become suspicious; this is because aircrafts must be in full functionality before being allowed to take off.
What does this mean? A mid-air issue is usually not random; therefore, mid-air issues typically point to someone failing to do their job correctly.
You Might Have Grounds to Sue and Receive Compensation
Although the incident is still under investigation, parents might have grounds to sue for the harm associated with the incident. It is possible that the negligence of the pilot, the airline, and even the plane manufacturer contributed to the mechanical issues that ultimately required the emergency fuel release. As described above, planes must be in top shape prior to being allowed to take off. Therefore, the plane’s takeoff – even though it had mechanical issues – could reflect negligence.
Without a doubt, one of your options might be to pursue a personal injury accident against Delta, for example. However, considering that so many people were affected by the incident, a class action lawsuit might also be possible.
Upon a successful claim outcome and depending on the details surrounding the incident, you and your family – and all other affected families – might have grounds to recover monetary compensation for all the harm suffered. Some of the compensation that could be available for recover could include medical costs, lost income, pain and suffering, and punitive damages, for example.
If you would like to learn more about your right to sue and receive monetary compensation for the harm suffered, do not hesitate to seek legal assistance with the experts at our law firm immediately.
File a Claim Promptly
If you are interested in filing a claim, it is essential that you seek legal assistance at your earliest convenience. This is because all claims are subject to a statute of limitations. A statute of limitations determines the specific length of time that claimants have to pursue their claims. If claimants do not file within the time allowed by the statute of limitations, claimants will lose their right to sue. Typically, claims in California are subject to a two-year statute of limitations; however, certain exceptions could apply. To ensure that you have a thorough understanding of the statute of limitations that could apply to your claim, do not hesitate to contact our law firm at your earliest convenience.
Contact Our Law Firm Today
If you would like to learn more about the possibility of pursuing a personal injury claim or possibly participating in a class action lawsuit against for the harm resulting from the incident described above, do not hesitate to seek legal assistance with the experts at our law firm at your earliest convenience. The lawyers at Downtown L.A. Law Group are ready to evaluate your claim and provide you with the legal assistance that you need to take action against the liable party or entity. Our lawyers have many years of experience handling all sorts of claims and are ready to provide you with the representation that you need to take legal action immediately.
Our firm offers free legal services, which include free consultations and free second opinions, to remain accessible to all affected parties. During our free consultations and free second opinions, our lawyers will be available to answer all your questions, address all your concerns, and provide you with all the information that you need to begin or continue your claim. If you would like to benefit from our free legal services, do not hesitate to contact our law firm today.
Our firm offers a Zero-Fee guarantee ensures that our clients never have to worry about paying any upfront legal fees. Our law firm is also based on a contingency structure, meaning that our clients will not be required to pay anything until after reaching a successful claim outcome. If you would like to discuss your claim with our experts, do not hesitate to contact our law firm at your earliest convenience.