An Alabama circuit court has demanded that Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport’s board of directors release information related to the March 22 accident that killed a 10-year-old boy and injured his mother and two younger brothers. The accident occurred when a flight information sign (Mufid) in a newly renovated concourse broke lose from its mountings and fell forward, trapping the four people.
After a number of closed-door executive meetings, the airport board refused to respond to repeated media requests from AL.com and the Birmingham News for information updates. The two news organizations sued the airport board and last Thursday a judge ruled in favor of the media.
Just before the accident, according to a letter from Smith, Spires & Peddy, a legal firm hired to represent Brasfield and Gorrie/BLOC, the makers of the signage, there were communications between a number of parties, although not to airport officials, that the new sign might not be stable the way it was installed.
As yet, no succinct communication has been found to prove that any action was taken to alter the methodology workers used to install this and a number of other Mufids in late January this year. “There is no indication…the airport, staff or board were ever made aware of any concerns regarding the stability of any Mufid,” said one of the law firm’s partners, Joe Peddy.
A second electronic sign was removed shortly after the March 22 accident.