Tuesday, September 24, 2013

S. Korean survivors to file suit against Boeing over deadly plane crash

SEOUL, Sept. 24 (Yonhap) -- Several South Korean survivors of an Asiana jet that crashed in San Francisco in July plan to file a lawsuit against Boeing Co. over alleged defects in the plane, their lawyer said Tuesday, in what could be the first legal action by South Koreans over the accident.

Asiana Airlines' Boeing 777 crashed during its landing at San Francisco International Airport in July, killing three Chinese teenagers and injuring more than 180 other people.

Jason Ha, a lawyer of Barun Law LLC., one of major law firms in Seoul, said he will file a lawsuit on behalf of the South Korean survivors at the federal court in San Francisco next month to seek compensation of at least US$1 million for each passenger.

A Boeing official in Seoul said he had no immediate comment.

Attorney Ha said he has consulted with only four South Koreans, but the number of his clients could go up as his law firm plans to hold a meeting of prospective plaintiffs on Thursday.

"There is a high possibility that we will prevail," Ha said, noting that passengers in the economy class suffered damage to their spinal cords and heads as they were restrained only by lap belts that go over the waist.

They could have suffered less damage if they had lap-and-shoulder belts, the three-point harness that was installed only in first class and business class of the doomed flight, he said.

Aviation experts said the three-point seat restraints are more likely to protect passengers in a crash and other impact situations.

There is no precedent in the U.S. that involved the safety of lap-only seat belts of airlines.

Ha said the lawsuit could eventually prompt airline manufactures to install lap-and-shoulder belts in all seats, noting that all cars are now equipped with three-point belts in all seats after lap-only seat belts were found to be defective in a U.S. product liability lawsuit against a carmaker.

He also said he plans to file a suit against the U.S. federal government over alleged mistakes of air-traffic controllers in San Francisco.

Original article:   http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr

NTSB Identification: DCA13MA120
Scheduled 14 CFR Part 129: Foreign operation of Asiana Airlines
Accident occurred Saturday, July 06, 2013 in San Francisco, CA
Aircraft: BOEING 777-200ER, registration: HL7742
Injuries: 3 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators traveled in support of this investigation and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On July 6, 2013, about 1128 pacific daylight time, Asiana Airlines flight 214, a Boeing 777-200ER, registration HL7742, impacted the sea wall and subsequently the runway during landing on runway 28L at San Francisco International Airport (SFO), San Francisco, California. Of the 4 flight crewmembers, 12 flight attendants, and 291 passengers, about 182 were transported to the hospital with injuries and 3 passengers were fatally injured. The airplane was destroyed by impact forces and postcrash fire. The regularly scheduled passenger flight was operating under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 129 between Incheon International Airport, Seoul, South Korea, and SFO. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident.