CHARLOTTE, N.C. The family of a teen who fell from the wheel well of a jet in a Boston suburb two years ago is suing Charlotte, Charlotte-Douglas International Airport and US Airways.
The family of 16-year-old Delvonte Tisdale says negligence by the city, the airport and the airline caused the teen to fall from a Boeing 737 to his death.
The lawsuit filed in Charlotte says the city, the airport and the airline should have done more to prevent Tisdale from getting onto the tarmac and into the wheel well of the plane. It seeks damages in excess of $10,000.
“The city remains saddened by the death of Delvonte Tisdale and wishes to express sympathy for his family. However, I don’t see how the city or the airport could or should be held legally liable for Mr. Tisdale’s decisions and actions,” city attorney Bob Hagemann said in a statement in response to the lawsuit.
The teen ran away from home on Nov. 14, 2010, authorities said. His body was found in the Boston suburb of Milton a day later so badly damaged that an autopsy could not determine the cause of death.
Authorities said Tisdale apparently made it onto the airport tarmac and climbed into the wheel well of a Boston-bound jet.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police conducted a security review, and in April released a report saying the airport police force was inadequate to properly monitor the airport.
The airport says it already has implemented some of the security recommendations.
Earlier this month, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police announced that airport police would be merged into the larger agency and the department would probably add more officers to beef up airport security.
“There was no way to deny that that incident was a catalyst for a lot of discussions and concerns,” said Kerr Putney, deputy Charlotte-Mecklenburg police chief.