Robert A. Clifford, senior partner at Clifford Law Offices, has been speaking to the press from around the country on the tragic downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 on the safeness of flying over certain air zones and the legal liability involved for the grieving families.
Mr. Clifford spoke to Gil Gross in San Francisco Tuesday (July 22, 2014) on the legal liabilities involving the terrible tragedy of the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine. For more than 10 minutes Tuesday evening, he did a one-on-one interview on the popular radio show on the West Coast in a wide-ranging interview – from Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) involvement in preventing aircraft flying over dangerous areas across the world to possibly holding Russia or Ukraine responsible for the loss of nearly 300 lives.
Early Wednesday morning Mr. Clifford also spoke to the all-news radio station in Washington, D.C., regarding the same issues. Radio show hosts Mike Moss and Joan Jones spoke with Mr. Clifford about how air carriers are common carriers which means they have the “highest duty of care to their passengers.” He compared it to people not being allowed to run red lights but air carriers are not allowed to “run yellow lights.”
Taking that route over the war zone saved the air carrier money because it was a because it was a shorter route, and even though the aircraft was flying above the 32,000 altitude that had been reported to be safe, Clifford said the airlines were on notice that three other planes were shot down in the days just before the commercial jet was shot down by a surface-to-air missile, as has been reported.
The two governing bodies that control international travel never gave airlines the “green light” to fly over this area, he added. The airlines decided to do so on their own, Clifford told the radio show anchors. As to legal liability, Clifford added the Montreal Convention that almost every nation has signed and it outlines the compensation system for people when harm occurs.