Pennsylvania Airport Authority Approves $1.58 Million Settlement with Homeowners

JUNE 15, 2002

Forty-five homeowners in Findlay will receive $35,128 each to settle decade-old lawsuits stemming from the jet noise caused by traffic at Pittsburgh International Airport. The Allegheny County Airport Authority board approved the $1.58 million in settlements at its meeting yesterday, providing cash -- but no soundproofing -- for residents who began complaining about jet noise in the early 1990s.

"It's a win-win situation," said Samuel Kamin, the lawyer for the homeowners. "It's a win for the county. They save money on soundproofing. For my clients, the litigation is over. From that standpoint, it's a plus."

Kamin said the lawsuits stemmed from the construction of Runway 10 Right/28 Left in 1980. The runway triggered more than 150 lawsuits over the last 20 years from residents in Moon and Findlay who said the jet noise was unbearable, affected their quality of life and decreased their property values.

As part of the settlement, the Airport Authority will get easements allowing them to fly jets over the 45 properties even if they are sold. Authority Solicitor Jeffrey Letwin said the settlements would resolve all but a few of the outstanding cases still pending against the airport because of jet noise.

Kamin said the residents lived in the Clinton section of Findlay. Not only have they had to put up with jet noise, but accompanying dirt and oil caused by air traffic as well. The planes also have interfered with phone reception, he said. The settlement, he added, means "they're going to get paid for what the county has been doing" for years. Letwin said about 80 percent of the funding for the settlements would come from the federal government.

Source: Post Gazette