The family of former Los Angeles Kings scout Mark Bavis, who was killed on United Airlines flight 175 that crashed into the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 has settled their civil case against the airline, but not because they wanted to.
Bavis’ family was suing United Airlines for wrongful death and gross safety negligence leading to Bavis’ death on the doomed flight that also killed his colleague with the Kings Garnet “Ace” Bailey and everyone on board. The family settled their case because of what they feel were changes made to the lead argument in the hearing by the judge. The Bavis’ case was the last one remaining to be settled.
While the final settlement numbers were not made public, the Bavis’ did not go quietly upon settling with United Airlines. Alan Maki of The Globe And Mail shares in detail with the family’s statement upon the conclusion of the case.
“After ten long years, our family has had a change in position regarding the litigation on behalf of our son and brother, Mark. Mark was a passenger aboard United Airlines Flight 175 when it crashed into the World Trade Center. This change is the result of a recent ruling by the Honorable Judge Alvin Hellerstein. With the stroke of his pen, Judge Hellerstein very cleverly changed this lawsuit. The lawsuit was about wrongful death, gross negligence and a complete lack of appreciation for the value of human life.
“He instead made it a case about a federal regulation. He ignored 100 years of aviation law and relied on an environmental case to apply federal preemption. He essentially gutted the case so that the truth about what led to the events of Sept. 11, 2001, would never be told at trial.
“To the families of the 9/11 victims: We can honestly say that our family envisioned a day when you could hear all the evidence, evidence that would provide an important step in moving beyond the events of that day. This process has taken a toll on us that only you could understand. We fought this long for two reasons, because we valued Mark’s life in the time spent together, the shared experiences and the expectation of what life would continue to be. Secondly, the truth as to why this happened so easily should be important. Mark did not have to endure the tragedy that ended his life and neither did your loved ones.”
The rest of their statement can be read at the Globe And Mail’s site.
Considering the loss suffered by the Bavis’ and to all families who lost loved ones on all the flights that were downed by terrorists on 9/11, it’s powerful to see that the Bavis’ held on this long to fight what they feel to be the good fight and to help get to the bottom of how things could go so horribly wrong.
In the days since the 9/11 attacks, airlines have gone above and beyond the call of duty to try and make sure no one can slip through the cracks again and do harm on this or any magnitude again. We can’t expect that the Bavis’ or anyone else’s family can be left feeling good about settling in this manner, but if there’s more out there for the public to know about how airlines could’ve prepared for anything like this or ignored the signs we can hope that one day we’ll be made aware.