In a case that appears to be limited to very specific facts, the Supremes have denied cert in Virgilio v. New York and Motorola, No. 05-488, in which survivors of the FDNY firefighters who perished in the collapse of the twin towers on 9/11 filed suit against New York and Motorola, the company that manufactured the radios used by the firefighters. The families claimed the city entered into an unlawful "no bid" contract with Motorola, and that due to negligence on the part of the city and the company, the firefighters did not hear the order to evacuate the building. The lower court ruled that in accepting funds from the Sept. 11 Victim Compensation Fund set up by Congress via the Air Transportation Safety and System Stabilization Act, the families waived their right to sue for damages arising out of the events of that day’s tragedies. More here from and here from the New York Times.

However, absent the Victim’s Compensation Fund and 9/11 angle, this could be any city, any local government unit – or any airport department or authority – dealing with survivors of deceased emergency personnel. Worker’s compensation laws would prevent suit against the government unit itself by the employees, but this could serve as another warning that failure to follow procurement guidelines can serve as the backdoor through which an unanticipated plaintiff litigates his grievances. Procurement is almost never the real issue, but it can be a way into the courthouse. AAs should caution purchasing personnel to follow the procurement guidelines governing their purchases very carefully, and train staff members to seek an AA’s advice in documenting the file, especially when an exception to competitive bidding is sought.


Now that THAT’S Over …

January 17, 2006

Interesting facts you may not have known about chicken pox:

  • The vaccine doesn’t mean you won’t get it.
  • It will, however, lessen the severity of the illness: vaccinated patients have less than 50 lesions on average, while nonvaccinated ones get over 300.
  • The vaccinated patient will recover in a week or less (my daughter went back to school in five days).
  • You can tell a chicken pox patient is no longer contagious when the lesions "crust" over and look as if they have scabs.

Nice, huh? However, since the incubation period is two weeks, and she came down with her first symptoms on the 6th of January, my record still holds – all the bad stuff happened last year, and the bright sparkling nothing-but-goodness promise of 2006 holds firm.  Now, hopefully I can get back to some semblance of regular posting! 

The good folk at Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell’s airport law practice group have published the latest iteration of the Airport Law Alert, the firm’s bulletin on airport legal matters. I plan some posts of my own on these topics, but in the meantime, AAs should hear from the wise minds at KKR on:

  1. The recently-proposed rule from EPA exempting airport mobile refuelers from some – but not all – of the requirements in the SPCC rule;
  2. The FAA’s recent decision that certain flight training restrictions at Pompano Beach Air Park were unreasonable, in a Part 16 proceeding;
  3. The signing of the settlement agreement between Los Angeles and resident groups which resolves a long-running dispute between the parties over the LAX Master Plan; and
  4. Lots more. Don’t want to give it all away.

Enjoy! Thanks to Peter Kirsch for giving me permission to publish the link here at TAL, even though he had the audacity to brag about recent Denver weather in the process. ("Warmer than Florida." Hmph.)

Up here.

And, in case you’re wondering wherefore the lack of posts? Child’s got chicken pox.

At some point, you just have to laugh.

10. With a broken Palm screen.

9.   With a broken Palm screen that’s not covered by warranty.

8.   Having misplaced glasses, suspecting that same have been tossed out with Christmas wrapping paper remnants and turkey carcasses from dinner.

7.  With a six-year-old experiencing the joys of projectile vomiting.

6.  Needing to clean up spilled Frosty from Wendy’s on car’s carpeting.

5.  Having brother in hospital with partial GI obstruction.

4.  Unexpectedly running across last year’s "New Year’s Wish List" and realizing that out of the ten things on the list, exactly none of them happened.

3.  Being turned away from favorite nightclub by crime tape and CSI-type techies collecting evidence from the stabbing the night before.

2. Not being able to drink champagne for traditional toast.

And the top way I do not ever want to ring in the New Year ever, ever again, ever:

1. Not being able to drink champagne for traditional toast because I have strep throat.

Happy New Year’s. The above items explain the lack of posts last week. Slightly overwhelming, but note that they all happened in the last year. The sanctity and promise of the new one thus remains untarnished.