Lawsuit dismissed in death of teen, who fell from jet's wheel well

CHARLOTTE (WSOC) - Superior Court Judge Hugh Lewis dismissed a lawsuit filed by the estate and family of Delvonte Tisdale, the young man whose family alleges he fell out the wheel well of an airplane while it was en route from Charlotte to Boston in November 2010.

Charlotte City Attorney Bob Hagemann stated that "while the city remains saddened by Mr. Tisdale's death and sympathizes with his family, the Court's ruling confirms our belief that the City should not be held legally liable for Mr. Tisdale's decisions and actions."

The lawsuit stated the city was liable for the wrongful death of Tisdale because the city did not reasonably secure the airport or adequately warn passengers of the dangers of going into a restricted area or of boarding a plane in a wheel well.

In dismissing the case, Lewis ruled that no evidence suggested the city did anything wrong and, by entering a secured areas and climbing into the wheel well, Tisdale was negligent.  Lewis also ruled the city owes a duty of care to the general public but not those who seek to breach security.

Hagemann noted that while the plaintiffs have the right to appeal, he is confident that Lewis' ruling will stand.


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