Saturday, June 13, 2009
Remember last September’s Troubled Asset Relief Program or TARP?
The $900 billion taxpayer bailout of Wall Street criminals ramrodded through the Democratically controlled Congress and championed by former President George Bush, Henry Paulson, Ben Bernanke, Barney Franks and Nancy Pelosi? First in-line to feed at the Federal trough was AIG. We were repeatedly told insurance giant was “too big to fail.” If AIG went down in flames, so would the U.S. economy.
Fast forward to February of this year and US Airways Flight 1549. The plane took off from La Guardia Airport bound for Charlotte, NC, but struck a flock of birds shortly after takeoff and made an emergency landing in the Hudson River. While the 151 passengers and crew survived, thanks in large part to the superb skills of pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, passengers were forced to leave valuables like laptop computers, cell phones, and clothing in the sinking airliner.
US Airways assured passengers not to worry; they would be made whole for their his losses. But then the matter shifted from US Airways to the airline’s insurer, AIG, now operating under government stewardship since its bailout last fall, things quickly went downhill.
While US Airways issued each passenger a check for $5,000 shortly after the accident to cover their immediate needs, AIG found no negligence on the part of the airline and has refused to pay all passenger claims.
According Andrew J. Maloney, a partner in the New York firm of Kreindler & Kreindler, which specializes in aviation litigation:
“I wish I had a hammer to get them to do the right thing. They’re riding a wave of feel-good opinion about how well the flight crew handled the bird strike.”