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COURT DECISION SPELLS END TO 'NOISE POLLUTION' SUIT BY FORT LAUDERDALE HOMEOWNERS AGAINST AIRLINES

 COURT DECISION SPELLS END TO 'NOISE POLLUTION' SUIT
 BY FORT LAUDERDALE HOMEOWNERS AGAINST AIRLINES
 WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., April 21 /PRNewswire/ -- A two-year battle between nine major airlines and hundreds of homeowners who live near Fort Lauderdale International Airport has been ended with a decision by the Fourth District Court of Appeals, which ruled on Friday that the homeowners many not seek damages from airlines that operate out of the airport.
 The Court of Appeals affirmed a Broward County Circuit Court ruling that homeowners have no claim under Florida law against the airlines in "noise pollution" suits, and that any attempt by a state court to impose damages upon the airlines would be in violation of overriding federal law.
 The airlines were represented by the Florida law firm of Greenberg Traurig.
 "This is good news for an industry that has been hit hard during the past few years," said attorney David L. Ross, who defended the nine airlines along with attorney Steven M. Goodman.
 The class-action suit was originally filed in 1990 by more than 600 Fort Lauderdale homeowners who live near Fort Lauderdale International Airport, against Delta Airlines, American Airlines, United Airlines, U.S. Air, Continental Airlines, Northwest Airlines, TWA, Midway and Eastern Airlines. Since the suit was first filed, four of the defendant airlines have filed for bankruptcy court protection.
 In the suit, the homeowners claimed that the flight of aircraft over their neighborhood had caused physical and emotional injury to themselves and their property, and argued that the airlines had domination and control over the operation at the airport that they should be treated as owners and held liable for damages caused by flight operations.
 In April 1991, a Broward County Circuit Court granted the airlines' motion to dismiss the case with prejudice, without further leave to amend or continue the lawsuit. The homeowners appealed to the Fourth District Court of Appeals, based upon recent decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court and the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Illinois.
 In addition to ending the class-action suit, the Court of Appeals' decision also puts to rest a companion case filed in 1989 by another 3,000 homeowners living in a different neighborhood who claimed damages when construction at Fort Lauderdale International Airport closed a main runway and forced the airlines to use a temporary alternate runway.
 -0- 4/21/92
 /NOTE TO EDITOR: For additional information and interviews with attorneys David L. Ross or Steven M. Goodman, contact Jim Murphy of Bruce Rubin Associates at 305-448-7450. Ross or Goodman can be reached directly at 305-579-0500./
 /CONTACT: Jim Murphy of Bruce Rubin Associates, 305-448-7450, for Greenberg Traurig/ CO: Greenberg Traurig ST: Florida IN: SU:


JB-AW -- FL008 -- 0514 04/21/92 10:27 EDT
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Date:Apr 21, 1992
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