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Civil Suit against Obama’s Security Detail Heading to Mediation

Friday, May, 24, 2013

U.S. District Court Judge Timothy S. Hillman has agreed to send an airport lawsuit involving President Obama to mediation.  The lawsuit claimed that an April Fool’s Day trip to the Marlboro Airport, a small community airport in Marlboro, Massachusetts, caused extensive damage to the airport’s runway.  The suit was opened against the U.S. Secret Service in 2011 by Marlboro Airport owners Sandra Stetson and G. Stetson Jr., although G. Stetson Jr. passed away after the lawsuit was filed.

According to the Stetsons, the presidential visit caused $700,000 worth of property damage on the premises.  President Obama visited the small Massachusetts airport in 2010 to survey the extent of the flooding emergency that had occurred in the area.  On that visit, he was accompanied by several helicopters and armored vehicles comprising a security convoy.  Following the president’s departure, the Stetsons filed a civil suit for $676,000 alleging that their airport’s runway and grass apron had been damaged during the visit by the Marine helicopters and armored vehicles. 

In order to provide further support to their claim, the couple requested that the Department of Transportation Aeronautics Division survey the damage and file a report with the court concerning their findings.  In that report, DTAD cited that although there were pre-existing cracks on the runway, the runway and area “was further damaged by the heavy vehicles and helicopters of the presidential security details.” The report also stated that there were “several areas of ruts left by presidential security details.”

If the case is not resolved in mediation, Judge Hillman will set a date for the civil trial to commence.