On December 21, 2009, the U.S. Department of Transportation, ("DOT"), announced a new rule that imposes a three hour limit on the amount of time an airline can keep a passenger on board a domestic flight that has been delayed on the tarmac. Exceptions exist within the rule for concerns of safety or security, or if the air traffic control advises the pilot that a return to the gate would disrupt the operations of the airport.
A jury in Lexington, Kentucky, awarded $7.1 Million to the family of a 39-year-old man killed when Comair Flight 5191 took off from the wrong runway at Lexington's Blue Grass Airport on August 27, 2006. After a four-day trial in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, the jury of eight returned the verdictin favor of the estate and daughters of Bryan Keith Woodward, who was en route from a business trip to his Louisiana home that morning. The pilots of Comair Flight 5191 took off from a runway too short for a commercial jet, and in the early morning hours of August 27, the airplane crashed and caught fire not far from the runway shortly after takeoff, killing forty-nine people on board. This case was tried by the aviation attorneys at Rapoport Law Offices, P.C. including lead trail lawyer David Rapoport, Paul Richter and Michael Teich.