Trips and Falls in Airport Jetways
A jetway is the tunnel which one walks through to travel between an airport terminal and an airplane. Because jetways are usually portable tripping hazards can often form when they are not set up properly by airport personnel. Common dangerous tripping hazards, traps and snares that can be found in jetways are gaps, unmarked steps, and raised surfaces. The most likely location of gaps and unmarked height differences are usually at either end of the jetway, or between connecting parts of the jet way. Other dangers may include objects left in the jetway which are not at eye level (e.g. strollers or luggage) and which are present without warning. These tripping hazards at airports can result in serious injuries. If you are injured you should immediately report the problem to the airline personnel present and let them know what caused the fall. There are various potential entities responsible for up-keeping the jetway in a safe condition, any of which may be responsible for your injuries depending on the specific fact pattern. In the New York metropolitan area the airports are owned by the Port Authority of NY and NJ. The Port Authority must be sued within 12 months of the occurrence, and a Proof of Claim must be filed with the Port Authority at least 60 days before a lawsuit can be filed. The Port Authority usually leases the terminals to individual airlines. The airlines likely are the ones who control the jet-way for their use, though they may contract the work out to others. Different statute of limitations may apply depending on which state the accident happenned in. Further if the accident happened in a jetway while boarding or debarking an international flight, international treaty rules will apply with separate litigation rules. If you are injured in an airport, in an airport jetway, or while otherwise boarding, debarking, or on an airplane you should consult an attorney about your legal rights. Zalman Schnurman & Miner is a law firm which represents people injured on airplanes, while boarding and debarking planes, and in other situations. Call us at 1-800-LAWLINE (1-800-529-5463) for a free consultation. All cases are taken on a contingency fee basis. The contents of this blog are for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. An attorney should be consulted and retained for legal advice.