Karen S. Kim
BURBANK -- City Atty. Dennis Barlow will meet with the City Council in
closed session Tuesday to discuss possible litigation strategies
involving Southwest Airlines' refusal to reimburse Burbank for a plane
crash last year.
Burbank's request for Southwest Airlines to pay a reimbursement of
$40,891 -- the expense incurred by the city last March, when the
airline's Boeing 737 skidded off of the runway at Burbank airport and
came to rest on Hollywood Way -- was denied by airline officials Feb. 7.
Barlow has not advised the council on the matter and is still
searching for a legal statute that would require Southwest to pay
Burbank's bill, he said.
Southwest Airlines officials said the taxes the airline pays to
Burbank each year should cover the costs of last March's crash. The
airline paid $1.2 million in taxes to the city last year.
Councilman Bob Kramer said he hopes the city will continue to ask for
"I'm going to push to collect the money from Southwest, because I
think it's their responsibility," he said. "The battle is just
Councilman David Laurell said he also supports the City Council
discussing the issue in an upcoming meeting.
"I personally think we should agendize it, and not because I think we
should aggressively go after Southwest for the money," he said. "We need
to be very clear in letting our residents and our businesses know why in
some instances people are billed for the destruction of private property.
"I think it's premature to either be lambasting Southwest or letting
them off the hook," he said.