"One of the best decisions I had ever made"
- Joseph Lugo
NEW YORK, NEW YORK— August 17, 2009 – In a tragedy that touched the citizens of two nations, a midair crash between a Liberty Tours helicopter and a plane above the Hudson River, killed 9 people including five tourists from Italy and three family members from Pennsylvania, one of them only 16-years old, to the dismay of New York accident lawyers.
The incident greatly attracted attention from both the media and people of New York, personal injury lawyers included. In published reports by the New York Post , it appears that the Teterboro air traffic controller on duty during the midair crash of the plane that hit a helicopter on August 8, was on a distracting cell phone call, talking to his girlfriend about a dead cat when the accident occurred. Not only that, his supervisor, against regulations, had left the tower.
The tragedy took place on the heavily traveled flight corridor over the Hudson River, where planes and helicopters frequently take tourists up to see the spectacular view of Manhattan.
“What makes this accident even more tragic is that it could have been prevented,” said David Perecman, a New York personal injury lawyer.
The Teterboro controller was still on the telephone even as the plane collided with the sightseeing helicopter. In an amateur video, the moment of impact was captured by a tourist, and likely to now be used as evidence for a New York personal injury lawyer.
In those less regulated skies over Manhattan, personal injury lawyers know that sightseers have died before. In another accident that made international headlines and the note pads of many New York personal injury lawyers, Yankee pitcher Cory Lidle and his flight instructor were killed during a sightseeing flight over the East River in 2006. The plane they were in crashed into an Upper East Side apartment building.
“In New York, personal injury lawyers find it hard to believe, with any knowledge of the skies and the situations these pilots are flying into, that a controller would be less than100% alert,” added Perecman.
The Teterboro Airport controller and his supervisor, have both been suspended. FAA officials are not yet saying if they believe that the employee’s actions contributed to the accident, however, they have said that the conduct of those on duty was “unacceptable.” Air traffic controllers are expected to be alert at all times while on the clock.
No passengers survived in the crash, and all the bodies were recovered from the Hudson River.
Regardless of the danger and complaints about both noise and safety, federal officials do not appear willing to add restrictions to any flights in the area.
Over most of New York, accident lawyers know, planes are closely monitored by air traffic controllers. But when the weather is clear, in that area over the Hudson, pilots are allowed to fly without calling in to controllers and reporting their positions. Pilots are expected to look out for, and talk to, each other.
“Officials say the investigation is continuing. I’d hope anyone involved in a crash like this, or their loved ones, would do a thorough investigation and find a great New York personal injury lawyer. They’d have a worthwhile case,” said Perecman.
About David Perecman and The Perecman Firm, PLLC:
For the past 25 years, the New York personal injury lawyers, construction accident, auto accident and medical malpractice lawyers at The Perecman Firm, PLLC have championed all types of cases for personal injury accidents. David Perecman, founder of the Firm, is the past Secretary of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association (NYSTLA) and a chair of its Labor Law Committee. Mr. Perecman’s achievements have brought him recognition as an Honoree in the National Law Journal’s Hall of Fame, in New York Magazine’s “The Best Lawyers in America” and The New York Times Magazine “New York Super Lawyers, Metro Edition”.
The Firm has recovered millions of dollars for its clients. Among the more recent victories, Mr. Perecman won a $15 million verdict* for a construction accident, a $5.35 million dollar verdict** for an automobile accident, and a $40 million dollar structured settlement for medical malpractice.
*later settled while on appeal for $7.940 million
** later settled for $3.5 million
“Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.”