ktliem@YVR
Posts: 158
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2001 3:25 pm

Calif. Man Wins Plane Toilet Ice Lawsuit

Mon Jun 16, 2003 2:50 pm

This is from the Yahoo! odd news section...
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=817&e=1&u=/ap/blue_ice_suit

California Man Wins Plane Toilet Ice Lawsuit

Sun Jun 15, 7:41 PM ET

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - A Santa Cruz man won a suit against American Airlines alleging that one of the company's planes released two chunks of toilet waste, known euphemistically as "blue ice," onto the skylight his boat.

After the chunks came crashing down and damaged his boat, Ray Erickson tracked down the plane — American Airlines Flight 1950 — and sued in small claims court.

He receive'd the court's ruling in the mail Friday. A judge ordered the airline to pay him $3,236 - almost the entire amount Erickson had sought.

Mike Fergus, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration, was surprised at the decision.

"I'll be darned," said Fergus, who hadn't heard of any similar suits succeeding before.

The airline has 30 days to appeal the ruling. Airline officials could not be reached to comment Saturday.


 ConfusedJust wondering...

  1. Why do commercial airplanes need to dispose of toilet waste while in flight?

  2. How was Ray Erickson able to track down the plane that released the "blue ice"?


 
boyshane
Posts: 121
Joined: Fri Jul 02, 1999 9:46 am

RE: Calif. Man Wins Plane Toilet Ice Lawsuit

Mon Jun 16, 2003 2:58 pm

What a loser... anyways, ha ha funny story because I remember watching stuff like this in ramp class. The aircraft isn't disposing waste during the flight or you would have this problem all the time. Sometimes the blue juice from the lav leaks from the cap if it isn't sealed completely and builds up, streaks across the side of the fuselage. In the air it freezes and drops off in mid flight. Well, something to that affect, it happens every so often. But it is the fault of the airline because ramp agents are supposed to keep an eye out for leaking blue juice.

During my ramp training we had to watch a video on the dangers of blue ice and they showed some photos. One inccident was this guy's parked car was hit on the roof and dented. In the dent was some brown and blue water and waste... not very pretty.

-Shane

 
jgiardin
Posts: 40
Joined: Thu Aug 03, 2000 11:53 am

RE: Calif. Man Wins Plane Toilet Ice Lawsuit

Mon Jun 16, 2003 3:43 pm

There was just an episode of "Six Feet Under" where a woman is killed by a large chunk of blue ice...it was on HBO a couple weeks ago.

For those that don't know "SFA" revolves around a family that runs a mortuary/funeral home...while they don't actually show it, references are made in the show about the woman being "headless" because of the accident. Freakish.
 
Ikarus
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RE: Calif. Man Wins Plane Toilet Ice Lawsuit

Mon Jun 16, 2003 4:31 pm

Boyshane: What a loser .... for what? For being unlucky? Now there's a situation where even I'd get angry enough to consider sueing....
 
tekelberry
Posts: 1309
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 6:37 am

RE: Calif. Man Wins Plane Toilet Ice Lawsuit

Mon Jun 16, 2003 5:21 pm

If a big giant piece of ice fell on your boat from a flying object and destroyed and/or did damage to your boat, wouldn't you want to do something about it?

There was just an episode of "Six Feet Under" where a woman is killed by a large chunk of blue ice...it was on HBO a couple weeks ago.

For those that don't know "SFA" revolves around a family that runs a mortuary/funeral home...while they don't actually show it, references are made in the show about the woman being "headless" because of the accident. Freakish.


I was just about to post something about that episode until I scrolled down...heh
 
L-188
Posts: 29881
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RE: Calif. Man Wins Plane Toilet Ice Lawsuit

Mon Jun 16, 2003 5:40 pm

I would like to know how this guy was able to track down what aircraft it was.

That would have been the difficult part of the case.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
Greg
Posts: 5539
Joined: Sat May 28, 2005 1:11 am

RE: Calif. Man Wins Plane Toilet Ice Lawsuit

Mon Jun 16, 2003 10:12 pm

Actually, only a loser would consider that the restitution for damages caused by factors beyond their control could somehow lawsuit abuse. Grow up.

Clearly the gentlemen was entitlted for compensation for the damage to his boat--it's not like he was trying to get rich off a block of frozen sh*t.
 
L-188
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Joined: Wed Jul 07, 1999 11:27 am

RE: Calif. Man Wins Plane Toilet Ice Lawsuit

Mon Jun 16, 2003 10:18 pm

Agreed Greg, I just want to know how he was able to PROVE that it came from that aircraft.

But then again, in a civil matter the standard is just, "More likely then not"
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
Greg
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Joined: Sat May 28, 2005 1:11 am

RE: Calif. Man Wins Plane Toilet Ice Lawsuit

Tue Jun 17, 2003 12:27 am

Technically, it is evidence that is:
a) greater or more convincing than the opposing evidence
b) more credible (in a jury's eyes...);
c) more reasonable and probable;

Note that is CAN be circumstantial in nature.

Anyway...you have the right idea...I was just clarifying.
Brgds.
 
VonRichtofen
Posts: 4260
Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2000 3:10 am

RE: Calif. Man Wins Plane Toilet Ice Lawsuit

Tue Jun 17, 2003 12:44 am

At least he wasn't going for $10 million or something because of "emotional distress" and lost wages because he can't work due to emotional scars.

I agree with the guy in this case.
 
deltairlines
Posts: 6875
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 4:47 am

RE: Calif. Man Wins Plane Toilet Ice Lawsuit

Tue Jun 17, 2003 1:01 am

I don't know, but Passur has sites for both LAX and SFO; I don't know California all that well, but maybe Santa Cruz is covered by one of these two. That's the only way I can of that he would have been able to track down the flight.

Jeff
 
User avatar
EA CO AS
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RE: Calif. Man Wins Plane Toilet Ice Lawsuit

Tue Jun 17, 2003 1:48 am

I can just see it now...

"..Plaintiff's exhibit A, the Los Angeles ARTCC logs for the date in question clearly show that at the time of the incident, American Airlines flight 1950, Cathay Pacific flight 881, Alaska Airlines flight 272, and Delta Air Lines flight 1889 were the only aircraft in the vicinity. Our experts have concluded that based on each aircraft's position, altitude, airspeed, relative wind speed and direction, and aircraft heading, no other aircraft but AA 1950 was in a position to have 'blue ice' impact the Plaintiff's boat. Furthermore, the angle of the impact from the aforementioned 'blue ice' is consistent with the projected angle of descent from AA 1950's flight path...."


"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
jhooper
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RE: Calif. Man Wins Plane Toilet Ice Lawsuit

Tue Jun 17, 2003 1:57 am

What a loser.

So this guy should have to foot the $3,236 bill himself for an incident which would have never occured but for the actions of American Airlines? This guy deserves every cent of the money he sued for to compensate him for this damage. To this one guy, $3,236 is a good chunk of change; to AA, this money amounts could amount to one first class seat across the pond.
Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
 
jjbiv
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RE: Calif. Man Wins Plane Toilet Ice Lawsuit

Tue Jun 17, 2003 3:22 am

Folks, these types of incidents are what insurance is for. Now, on to figuring out how Erickson tracked down the responsible aircraft.

joe
 
serge
Posts: 1903
Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2001 2:01 pm

RE: Calif. Man Wins Plane Toilet Ice Lawsuit

Tue Jun 17, 2003 4:02 am

Might as well make AA foot the bill rather then have the guy's insurance go up, right?

Anywho, thats some nasty shit  Smokin cool
 
tekelberry
Posts: 1309
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 6:37 am

RE: Calif. Man Wins Plane Toilet Ice Lawsuit

Tue Jun 17, 2003 4:06 am

Might as well make AA foot the bill rather then have the guy's insurance go up, right?

At least he would feel good for milking the evil insurance company for all the money he can get. Big grin

[Edited 2003-06-16 21:06:57]
 
Sinlock
Posts: 1631
Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2000 12:55 am

RE: Calif. Man Wins Plane Toilet Ice Lawsuit

Tue Jun 17, 2003 4:16 am

Why didn't AA just settle? AA's lawyers most likely Billed $10,000-15,000 in fee's.
 
jetstar
Posts: 1366
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RE: Calif. Man Wins Plane Toilet Ice Lawsuit

Tue Jun 17, 2003 6:23 am

In response to the original question about disposing toilet waste in flight, airliners do not dispose any toilet waste in flight.

Airliner toilets use a recirculating flushing system. The blue in the flush water is a very strong chemical that kills the bacteria and helps contain the odor. At the end of the day or the end of a long flight the holding tanks are drained and flushed and new blue flush water is added.

The toilets are serviced from the outside by lavatory servicing trucks, affectionately known in the airline industry as “honey bucket trucks” because toilets are called honey buckets.

A panel is opened under the airplane beneath the lavatory and a large hose is connected to a drainpipe. This drain has a hinged cap on it and after the cap is opened the hose is connected to the drain and then a shut off valve is opened and the waste drains into the truck. The valve is then closed and another smaller hose is connected to a separate fitting which pumps clean blue water into the holding tank. Sometimes this drain valve sticks open and when the drain line cap is opened, the operator takes a blue water shower. If the valve has a small leak, there will be some blue water in the drain line so the rule of thumb is check the wind direction and stand clear when opening the drain line cap.

This is why the toilets are placarded about not throwing anything down the toilet, it could damage the pump system or prevent the drain line from closing properly.

Blue ice forms when the shut off valve leaks and the blue water drips onto the hinged cap. If the cap seal is worn then the blue water drips out onto the access panel and then leaks out. As the airplane climbs, the outside air temp drops below freezing and the dripping blue water freezes on the outside of the airplane. As the airplane descends into warmer air, this frozen block of blue ice departs and becomes a small bomb.

At least one or twice a year, someone will report a block of ice hitting their house or car. Last year under the approach for JFK, a block of blue ice hit a house and it went through the roof into the living room.

It appears that Ray Erickson saw the plane as the ice hit his boat or marked down the exact time it happened and it was traced back by radar images, so American Airlines was at fault. It probably was cheaper for AA to pay the small claims than pay the lawyers to fight it if AA felt it was not their fault. According to AA’s web site flight 1950 is a LAX to SFO MD-80, departing at 5.20pm and arriving at 6.28pm.



 
aloges
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RE: Calif. Man Wins Plane Toilet Ice Lawsuit

Tue Jun 17, 2003 6:42 am

Making money out of crap must be like making gold out of hay... Philosopher's Stone anyone?

I think if his boat got damaged because something on an AAmericAAn AAirlines plane went wrong and he takes the effort of tracking it down without searching millions of bucks for compensation of "emotional stress" afterwards, he's fine enough to get the money.
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.

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