The son of a woman who was killed in the 2017 Fort Lauderdale airport shooting spree has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Delta Airlines, claiming lax security standards made it easy for the shooter to pick up his checked weapon from a baggage claim station and carry it through the terminal before firing into the airport crowd.
The claimant, Timothy Woltering, filed the lawsuit in Broward County January 8. In the suit, Woltering claims the shooting could have been prevented had Delta and Allied Universal, the airport’s security firm, implemented stronger security measures to better monitor passengers who check guns in their luggage.
Olga Woltering, the claimant’s mother, was one of the five people killed in the shooting.
According to the lawsuit, the shooter, Esteban Santiago Ruiz, received a notification that his checked luggage was ready for pickup upon landing at a Delta baggage service claim office. He was able to retrieve his package containing his 9mm pistol, and then go to the bathroom to load it before returning to the baggage claim area to fire at random people in the crowd.
Determining liability can be a challenge
Wrongful death claims require the plaintiff to prove negligence on the part of the defendant. If Woltering can prove the security standards of Delta and Allied Universal are not up to par, and that these lax security standards directly led to the shooting, the plaintiff could be successful in his lawsuit.