The Asiana airplane accident that occurred in early July of this year has been the subject of much press this week as more claims are filed against defendants allegedly responsible for the tragic crash. The crash occurred on a San Francisco landing strip on July 6, a clear day by all accounts. When the plane crashed into the tarmac on that day, it left 181 people injured and two teenagers dead. Complaints against the airline, airplane and airplane parts manufacturers, and other parties are now mounting as victims heal from the wreck.
According to a news report by Claimsjournal.com this week, victims have filed suit against several defendants. The laws governing suits against airline carriers may guide plaintiffs and their attorneys how they select which party to sue. Under the Montreal Convention of 1999, an international convention regarding compensation for airline accident victims, victims cannot file a lawsuit in the United States if their final destination was not, in fact, the United States. In sum, the convention gives jurisdiction to the country in which the airplane ticket was purchased. At least one legal expert notes that this may not be advantageous for people traveling to destinations outside the United States, because the United States tort system, which governs personal injury and product liability cases, may be more generous to plaintiffs.
Some plaintiffs have filed product liability suits against Boeing, the manufacturer of the airplane involved in the Asiana crash. It is important to note that the Montreal Convention does not protect such defendants, and therefore passengers on the Asiana flight who were traveling outside the United States may bring such suits. Some of the facts upon which the suits are premised include that oxygen masks allegedly did not deploy as they should have, the sliding ramps did not deploy properly, and the seatbelts in the airplane had to be cut with a knife to release passengers.
Plaintiffs able to sue Asiana itself, under the Montreal Convention, have also commenced personal injury suits for their injuries. NBCbayarea.com reports that 60-year-old Henry Xie is one such plaintiff, and is seeking damages in the amount of $5 million against Asiana. Mr. Xie is able to sue Asiana because his son purchased his ticket for him in the United States. Since the crash, Mr. Xie, who is originally from China, has not been able to return home due to the injuries that he suffered. Mr. Xie has been staying in a hotel, and has experienced back pain, a cracked jaw and severe nightmares about the crash. He cannot make the 11 hour journey back to China, and therefore remains in his hotel, unable to sleep.
Mr. Xie’s attorney notes that the purpose of his client’s suit is to reveal the true reason for the Asiana crash, and to recover monetary compensation for the pain and suffering that he has endured. Mr. Xie comments that, given the choice, he would chose to be healthy rather than to have $5 million, and that he simply wants his life back.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured by the acts of someone else, or in an accident, you should immediately seek out the assistance of an experienced personal injury or products liability attorney. The attorneys at Brod Law Firm have successfully assisted accident victims in recovering compensation for their pain and suffering, and may be able to help you.