Family Sued Air Midwest for Flight 5481 Crash and Demanded and Received a Public Apology

This is the first official public apology made by a U.S. airline company. Ronald L. M. Goldman was the lead aviation attorney who negotiated the unprecedented apology as part of his clients’ settlement agreement two years after the January 8, 2003 Air Midwest Flight 5481 crash at the Charlotte/Douglas International Airport. In this clip, Mr. Goldman talks about the importance of the apology and is later seen introducing the president of Air Midwest at a special ceremony near the crash site, organized by the national aviation disaster law firm of Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman.

In his apology, Air Midwest’s president addressed many crash victims including Pastor Douglas Shepherd and his wife Tereasa, whose daughter, Christiana Grace Shepherd, was killed in the Beechcraft 1900D air crash along with 22 others. The Shepherds were the last ones to settle with the defendants and demanded the apology as part of the resolution of the case. The president admitted that Air Midwest and its maintenance company, Vertex, committed errors and had deficiencies, which, together with the ambiguous wording of certain parts of the aircraft maintenance manual, contributed to this accident.

Video includes excerpts from a dramatization called “Dead Weight” which aired on the National Geographic Channel series called Air Crash Investigation and on the Discovery Channel Canada series called May Day.

Air Date: April 30, 2008

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Companies Accept Responsibility and Publicly Apologize to the Families of the January 8, 2003 Air Midwest Flight 5481 Crash in Charlotte, North Carolina