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NTSB Investigating Airport Accident That Killed Airline Employee


An unfortunate tragedy claimed the life of an American Airlines employee on New Year’s Eve, and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) continues to investigate the causes and contributing factors. An ABC News article dated January 3, 2023 described the accident at an airport in Montgomery, AL, in which a member of the ground crew was performing normal support tasks as the aircraft sat at the gate. Without warning, the employee was sucked into one of the engines and was killed instantly. He was legally employed by Piedmont Airlines, a regional carrier affiliated with American Airlines.

By default, workplace accidents are covered by the Maryland workers’ compensation system, which offers the sole remedy for injured employees. However, there are certain factors present in the recent incident that may allow for a civil lawsuit. The advantages are significant, so discuss your circumstances with a Maryland airline employee injury attorney. You can also check out some information about the recent accident and possible legal options.

Workers’ Compensation Death Benefits: The recent accident that killed the airline employee is likely covered by the state system, which pays death benefits to family members of the deceased worker. The surviving spouse and minor children may qualify for payments, though the amount will vary according to whether the beneficiary was wholly or partially dependent upon the employee at the time of death. The amount is two-thirds of the workers’ Average Weekly Wage (AWW), but there is a cap of $65,000 on the total benefits paid to family members of the deceased employee.

 Options Outside Maryland’s Workers’ Comp System: The details regarding the recent workplace accident may provide the victim’s surviving family members with other legal remedies besides workers’ comp. In the case of most on-the-job injuries, the employee’s sole option is to file a claim for benefits with the employer’s insurance company.

However, there is an exception when a third party was responsible for causing the accident. Survivors are allowed to sue in civil court in such a case, and the cause of action would be a wrongful death lawsuit. Instead of being limited to workers’ compensation benefits, surviving family members would be entitled to additional amounts for noneconomic damages. Examples include losses related to consortium, guidance, love, support, education, and other contributions the deceased worker would have provided.

 Potential Parties: If surviving family members do qualify to seek remedies through civil litigation, there are numerous third parties that they might pursue. There are many organizations involved with operating a flight, such as:

  • Airport officials and employees;
  • Crews that handle maintenance and repairs; and,
  • The manufacturer of the airplane and/or engine, if the machinery was defective.

Schedule a Consultation with Our Maryland Airline Employee Injury Attorneys

To learn more about filing a workers’ comp versus personal injury lawsuit, please contact the Law Offices of Steinhardt, Siskind and Lieberman, LLC to set up a free case review. We can meet with you at our Maryland offices in Glen Burnie, Owings Mills, Ellicott City, or Annapolis, MD. After assessing your situation, we can explain your options.


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