Media Aviation Litigation Issues.Ppt

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Media Aviation Litigation Issues.Ppt

  1. 1. AVIATION LAW . Media and Aviation Accident Litigation B RINKMEIER L AW Alan J. Brinkmeier, Esq.
  2. 2. Power of Media Generated Opinion is Great <ul><li>TWA Flight 800 is a well-known example. </li></ul><ul><li>The NTSB investigation, the only official investigation to date, concluded that the plane's center fuel tank exploded when fumes in its tank were ignited by a probable electrical spark. </li></ul><ul><li>Much initial media coverage focused on a missile </li></ul><ul><li>Recent Poll Results </li></ul><ul><li>>1000 Respondents </li></ul><ul><li>Missile-------- 80% </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Bomb --------  4% </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Fuel Tank --- 14% </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Control Exposure, Control the Story </li></ul><ul><li>Successful Media Relations Begins Before Accident </li></ul><ul><li>Establish Risk Management Approach </li></ul><ul><li>Client Meetings to Prepare for Media Interviews </li></ul><ul><li>Meet with and prepare company representatives before they met media. </li></ul><ul><li>Initial Post-Accident Scene Coordination </li></ul><ul><li>The airline involved in an emergency is responsible for providing information regarding passengers aboard the aircraft and any detailed information about the flight crew, flight activities and the aircraft. </li></ul><ul><li>Know Your Media Sources </li></ul><ul><li>Chicago - O’Hare International Airport – Media Policy </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.flychicago.com/Media/MediaPolicy112005.pdf </li></ul><ul><li>Atlanta - Hartsfield International Airport – Media Policy </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.atlanta-airport.com/default.asp?url=http://www.atlanta-airport.com/sublevels/news_room/media_guide.htm </li></ul><ul><li>Prepare in advance how to deal with families in a disaster </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Use of Media for Discovery (Print, Television, Internet) </li></ul><ul><li>Use of Media for Investigation and Discovery </li></ul><ul><li>Confirm Information </li></ul><ul><li>Determine Sources </li></ul><ul><li>Develop or Destroy Theories </li></ul>
  5. 5. Media As Information Source …to advise on jurisdiction. <ul><li>The aircraft [OB-1809] was approaching Pucallpa on a domestic flight from Lima with heavy thunderstorms in the vicinity of the airport when, shortly after 3:00pm local time it encountered windshear and heavy turbulence, and crashed onto a jungle-covered, dirt roadway approximately 2 miles from the runway at 3:06pm. [Aircraft: Boeing 737-244(Adv)] </li></ul>
  6. 6. Initial Media Information …can lead to recommendations about overall loss exposure. Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 August 2005, 09:00 GMT 10:00 UK A passenger plane has crashed in Peru's Amazon jungle, with at least 40 of the 100 people on board known to have died. The Tans Boeing 737-200 was on an internal flight from the capital, Lima, to the city of Pucallpa when it made an emergency landing during a storm. [more] [Internal flight may not give rise to claims for damages in the United States.]
  7. 7. Internet Graphics/Displays …an information source about the opposition’s thinking.
  8. 8. Media Pictures Posted on the Web ….used to develop defense facts. CNN June 5, 1996 Web posted at: 10:05 a.m. EDT ValuJet Flight 592 “The fire probably started from one of two sources: electrical components or more than 140 volatile oxygen generators in the forward cargo hold. Investigators have found about 18 of the canisters, many of them heavily burned.” ValuJet Flight 592
  9. 9. <ul><li>Confidentiality as Part of Settlement Agreements </li></ul><ul><li>“ The undersigned party and her attorneys and representatives, including the law firms of __________(hereinafter referred to as &quot;Attorneys&quot;), further acknowledge and agree that the amount and terms of the settlement are confidential and that they may not disclose same to any other persons including, without limitation, the print, electronic or other media, any type of jury verdict or settlement reporter, the Illinois or American Trial Lawyers Association or any association or publication of that nature, or any representative thereof, without the express written consent of all parties. This agreement shall not prohibit disclosure required by law or the court.” </li></ul><ul><li>Order To Seal Parts of Proceedings </li></ul><ul><li>Compare San Jose Mercury News Inc. v. United States District Court , 187 F.3d 1096 (9 th Cir. 1999) – (issue of public access to records “left for another day”) with Cheney v. District Court, 542 U.S. 367 (2004) – (access to civil case records “much less urgent or significant” than criminal case records). </li></ul><ul><li>Future Loss Control Re Punitive Damages – Require Document Return </li></ul><ul><li>With internet access, everything can get global viewing if not returned after litigation. </li></ul>Media after Settlement/Verdict/Appeals (Print, Television, Internet)

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