It was a regular Tuesday at Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport. People pulling their luggage out of the trunk of loved one’s car, wishing farewells, and standing in line.
For ten travelers the security checkpoint was far from routine. According to the Sun-Sentinel, at around 5:45 p.m. at the Air Tran security checkpoint ten people experienced adverse reactions to what turned out to be pepper spray. Apparently, the canister was accidentally deployed in someone’s carry-on luggage. At least it happened in the security checkpoint area instead of on the flight. Nine people were treated in the airport at terminal one and continued to their gates, but one man wasn’t so lucky. Suffering from chest pains, he was taken to Broward Health Medical Center for treatment. It is unclear whether or not it was this man’s pepper spray, or how the pepper spray was deployed.
Personal injury laws such as common law negligence protect the rights of innocent injury victims. Liability for this incident could be based on an intentional tort or due negligence, carelessness, recklessness, or even an intentional act. An individual, establishment, or company may be held responsible for criminal acts of unknown this parties and for negligent acts of their employees under a theory called respondeat superior. In regards to the airport incident, important questions remain. How did the pepper spray deploy? How did is pass through security? Was there an altercation that security failed to identify and then escalated? Was the container deployed by an airport security officer? Do the other affected travelers know whose it was? Was the irritant passed through the x-ray machine? While the incident sounds only minor, the fact that such the incident occurred in the first place suggests a possible failure in the airport operations and duty to provide a reasonably safe premises. It also implies potential security vulnerabilities exist at one of our local major airports.
Nicholas Gerson a personal injury attorney with Gerson & Schwartz, P.A. specializes in premises liability cases such as negligent security cases. While this incident appears probably minor as far injuries are concerned, Gerson explains that “prior criminal incidents no matter how small are examples of notice of a potential security vulnerability. In the wake of terrorist threats and national security issues on airplanes “this airport should take appropriate measures to ensure that a more serious incident does not occur in the future and our public is protected.”
If you ever find yourself in a situation in which you were injured to by no fault of your not of your own make sure you contact a personal injury law firm so that they can find out the answers. As a matter of course, it’s always a good idea ask essential questions if you can. Take photographs; get the names of witnesses, email addresses, and other important contact information. Keep a record of the pertinent information. Write down every detail. Keep all paperwork. Then contact the personal injury attorneys of Gerson & Schwartz, P.A., for a free consultation. There are no fees unless we collect . We will listen to your specific situation and offer legal advice to help you protect your rights.