Bay State Airport Owner Sues Secret Service

Sep 28, 2011 - LegalZoom News Sources
A Massachusetts airport owner alleges the airport suffered damage during a presidential visit.

G. Robert Stetson Jr., the owner of a Marlboro, Massachusetts, airport, recently filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Secret Service, alleging a runway and surrounding areas of the airport were damaged during an April 2010 presidential visit.

The suit states the airport received short notice that President Barack Obama would be landing there to visit a local emergency management center. The Secret Service assured Stetson the president's helicopter would not damage the runway - and the suit acknowledges it did not - but Stetson alleges the Secret Service drove unauthorized ground vehicles onto the tarmac and grassy areas nearby, causing $676,048 in damage.

A 44,000-pound foam truck is among the vehicles singled out in the complaint as causing damage to the runway, which has a 9,000-pound clearance.

Stetson told the Boston Herald he is especially careful not to drive heavy vehicles onto the runway in early spring, when the pavement is "floating on a giant mud puddle."

In March, a judge ruled that Steven Howards, a Colorado man, could sue two Secret Service agents who arrested him after he allegedly touched Vice President Dick Cheney at an event in 2006 while criticizing the Bush administration's Iraq War policy.