US Airways Accident Lawsuits May be Filed Despite Miracle on the Hudson

Although Capt. Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger was able to masterfully land US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River last week, delivering all 155 passengers safely back to land with only minimal personal injuries reported, airplane accident lawsuits could still end up being filed by some passengers after the investigation into the cause of the crash landing is complete.

The accident occurred on January 15, 2009, after both of the plane’s engines failed shortly after takeoff from New York City’s La Guardia Airport, while it was en route to North Carolina’s Charlotte Douglas (International) Airport.

The investigation into the airplane accident is still continuing, but all indications suggest that a flock of large birds took out the engines. The National transportation Safety Board has discovered feathers and other evidence of bird strikes from the plane’s wings, engine and fuselage.

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According to a report by the Associated Press earlier this week, a number of US Airways accident lawsuits could still be filed by passengers who suffered mainly minimal injuries in the crash and subsequent rescue from the freezing water of the Hudson River.

Mechanical failure or defect has not been ruled out as a possible contributing factor for both engines going out at the same time. Reports suggest that the same airplane experienced engine problems just two days before the crash, when a compressor stalled.

If the bird strikes are determined to be the only cause of the plane accident, lawsuits could also be filed alleging that inadequate steps were in place to drive away large birds from the area, which is a known hazard at LaGuardia since it is surrounded by water on three sides.

As a result of the ‘Miracle on the Hudson’, no lives were lost in the crash, continuing a trend of more than two years with no airplane accident deaths involving U.S. carriers.

The only other major incident involving a U.S. airline in the last two years occurred on December 20, 2008, when in a Continental Airlines accident where the plane skidded off of the runway in Denver. Although no fatalities or serious injuries were reported, at least two passengers have already filed a runway accident lawsuit against the airline.

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10 Comments

  • wendellJune 17, 2009 at 10:53 am

    I was a Captain for a major airlines for 30 years, retired as a 777 International Captain......To increase engine life and thus save money, we did reduced power takeoff profiles with noise abatement ground tracks on most departures. This leads to a lower altitude profile making the plane more at risk to bird strikes and takes the ground track over areas where the birds are more numerous to avoid t[Show More]I was a Captain for a major airlines for 30 years, retired as a 777 International Captain......To increase engine life and thus save money, we did reduced power takeoff profiles with noise abatement ground tracks on most departures. This leads to a lower altitude profile making the plane more at risk to bird strikes and takes the ground track over areas where the birds are more numerous to avoid the noise monitering devices set up around airports. Birds were known to be in the area and were actually on the local radar which has the ability to scan each large bird...... THis is true for the US Air accident as well. Let the lawsuits begin...........

  • NikolasJune 13, 2009 at 11:21 pm

    DONT BE THANKFULL BE GREADY FOR THE THINGS THAT ARE TAKEN AWAY IN A FLASH AND THIS TYPE OF THINKING HAS PUT AMERICA AND THE OTHER WORLD IN DEEEEEEP ........IN THE SEWAGE. SORRY IF I HURT SOME FEELINGS BUT THE EARTH WILL BE HERE WHEN WE ARE LONG GONE,AND IT ONLY TAKES A SNEEZE?! FROM GEA TO GET RID OF US PEOPLE.

  • Wrongful Death Plane Crash Lawsuit Filed Over Buffalo Accident : AboutLawsuits.comMarch 2, 2009 at 5:21 pm

    [...] the 110 passengers and 4 crew members on board. On January 15, 2009, a U.S. Airways plane made a miracle crash landing on the Hudson River in New York, delivering all 155 passengers with only minimal personal injuries [...]

  • TomFebruary 10, 2009 at 3:49 am

    Unbelievable and outrageous..A highly trained and skilled captain executes a perfect emergency landing after a force of nature cripples his airliner and saves all onboard and the lawyers are still ambulance chasing for a lawsuit, I for one have had it up to my insurance payments with lawyers systematic and callous degradation of our economy and legal system. It is time for America to realize the [Show More]Unbelievable and outrageous..A highly trained and skilled captain executes a perfect emergency landing after a force of nature cripples his airliner and saves all onboard and the lawyers are still ambulance chasing for a lawsuit, I for one have had it up to my insurance payments with lawyers systematic and callous degradation of our economy and legal system. It is time for America to realize the cost to our personal freedoms and damage to our country caused by unethical lawyers looking to extort our legal system with undue and unwarranted lawsuits.

  • BillJanuary 30, 2009 at 12:16 am

    Anyone who sues for a perfect landing in Gods hands will deserve what they get in the future. The same goes for attourneys who solicit these passengers. If you were hurt and you have no insurance let the airline pay for your injuries, but thats it. Hopefully, after an experience like that, people would realize money is useless for a second chance at life!

  • RagnarJanuary 29, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    Unfortunately it seems to be typical American, the land of most lawyers in the world. Please god let me slip that I can try and sue... - Instead of being grateful to be alive, this has become of many US lawyer guided citicens today ....

  • JenniferJanuary 24, 2009 at 7:37 pm

    This is the biggest problem with America - life is anything but perfect and there is a lawsuit - if they are going to sue, sue the geese for crying out loud. It's a "miracle" any of these people are alive. Be grateful that your family members can rest easy right now.

  • BobJanuary 24, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    Guess what??? Heraldo Rivera (our resident cynic on everything) said he has proof that this aircraft, just 2 days earlier had and engine failure due to hydraulic pumps, which cab cause an engine shutdown, in one engine.

  • eelongJanuary 24, 2009 at 5:21 am

    come on people.......your still here.... let '' them'' give u a settlement for lost luggage. You should all be giving thanks that somehow you were put on a plane that had such a skilled pilot on board. Yes I would be angry too that I lost a laptop, or had a broken leg. But after all that.....your still here, for ''your'' world. WOW way to go cap. Sully!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • MarkJanuary 23, 2009 at 11:48 pm

    How can people sue for things that only God can control? They might as well sue God himself, and I don't want to be anywhere near them when the lightning strikes. The birds were flying south for the winter. What are we supposed to do? Ask the birds to alter their flight patterns around airports? That is impossible. The lawsuits are a waste of valuable time and resources especially during a [Show More]How can people sue for things that only God can control? They might as well sue God himself, and I don't want to be anywhere near them when the lightning strikes. The birds were flying south for the winter. What are we supposed to do? Ask the birds to alter their flight patterns around airports? That is impossible. The lawsuits are a waste of valuable time and resources especially during a time where America has much larger issues than this. Greed and Curruption will destroy America.

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