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Judge Rules City Of Charlotte Was Not Negligent When Tisdale Fell From An Aircraft
By Mike Mitchell

March 6, 2013 - Mecklenburg Superior Court Judge Hugh Lewis dismissed a lawsuit that was filed by the family of Delvonte Tisdale. Tisdale died when he fell from a wheel well on a US Airways Boeing 737 on approach to Boston’s Logan International Airport back in November 2010.  

Judge Hugh Lewis ruled that there was no evidence which indicated the city of Charlotte, North Carolina did anything wrong, the city owes a duty of care to the general public but not those who seek to breach security and by Tisdale entering a secured areas and climbing into the wheel well, Tisdale was negligent.   

Bob Hagemann, Charlotte City Attorney said 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." 

Born and raised in North Carolina, 16 year old Delvonte Tisdale was reported missing by his family back on November 14, 2010, he was believed to have runway from home. On the following day Tisdale’s mutilated body was located in Milton, Massachusetts, a Boston suburb were he suffered massive head trauma and broken bones. Police were not sure what happened. At that time the one thing the police believed was Tisdale was murdered.


An autopsy was performed, the coroner reported Tisdale died from falling from a significant height in addition he had aircraft grease on his clothes. It soon became apparent that Tisdale had fallen from an aircraft wheel well. Police discovered hand prints in a wheel well of a US Airways Boeing 737 that had landed at Boston’s Logan Airport that had arrived from Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, Charlotte, North Carolina. It was quickly learned that Tisdale had fallen from this plane while the aircraft was on approach for landing.  

Police reported that the 16 year old had breach security at a Charlotte, North Carolina airport in which he had stowed away in the wheel well of a Boeing 737. At that the time police believed Tisdale had died before his fall as a result of being deprived of oxygen and the temperatures in the wheel well would have been well below zero. Tisdale fell from the wheel well when the pilot of the Boeing 737 lowered his landing gear for a landing at Logan International Airport.  



The family filed a lawsuit in Mecklenburg Superior court against the city of Charlotte, North Carolina, Charlotte-Douglas International Airport and US Airways. The lawsuit filed alleged the defendants negligence caused the teens death by not preventing Tisdale from getting onto the airport's tarmac and into the wheel well of the US Airways Boeing 737. In April 2011, Charlotte Mecklenburg police conducted a security assessment. They issued a report which indicated the airport police force was inadequate to properly monitor the airport.

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