Airplane Crash - George T. Bowden et al. v. USA

Jeffrey D. Soud

Case Conclusion Date:November 15, 2004

Practice Area:Wrongful Death

Outcome:Favorable Plaintiff Findings

Description:359 F.Supp.2nd 1214 (M.D. Fla. 2004) Under the Federal Tort Claims Act ("FTCA"), the United States may be held liable for "personal injury or death caused by the negligent or wrongful act or omission of any employee of the Government while acting within the scope of his office or employment. Plaintiffs advanced two theories of negligence in this case. First, plaintiffs claim that air traffic controllers breached their duty to provide the pilot with accurate information about the current weather conditions at Jacksonville International Airport. Second, plaintiffs claim that air traffic controllers failed in their duty to advise the pilot of the availability of alternate airports which the air traffic controllers knew were then reporting VFR conditions. Plaintiffs proved by a preponderance of the evidence that the United States (through its agent, the FAA) is liable for this accident and that the government's negligence was 65% of the legal cause of the accident, the remaining 35% of the responsibility for the accident being due to the negligent actions of the pilot.