Stowaway Suit Dismissed


A North Carolina judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by the family of a 16-year-old boy whose body was found in Boston after it is presumed he fell from the wheel well of a US Airways flight that was landing there. The mangled body of Delvonte Tisdale, of Charlotte, was found Nov. 15, 2010, on the approach path to Logan Airport a day after he was last seen at home in Charlotte. It’s theorized that he got over the airport fence and managed to sneak into the aircraft wheel well before the A320 took off on its non-stop to Boston. According to The Associated Press, Tisdale’s family sued the City of Charlotte, the airline and the airport alleging, among other things, that the defendants didn’t do enough to warn Tisdale of the danger of “boarding a plane as a passenger in the wheel well of an airplane.”

Judge Hugh Lewis said Tisdale was responsible for his own actions and the defendants couldn’t be held responsible for his breaching security. The plaintiffs’ lawyer Chris Chesnut said the lawsuit was filed to “get answers” about Tisdale’s death and the judge’s decision means the family’s questions will go unanswered. “They’re blaming Tisdale for his own death and no one knows how he got on the plane,” Chestnut said. City of Charlotte lawyer Bob Hagemann offered condolences but said the decision was correct in that the city should not be held responsible for Tisdale’s ill-advised travel choice.