Legal action related to the crash landing of Asiana Flight 214 in San Francisco has begun. Eighty-three passengers signed on with a Chicago law firm claiming the crash was caused “by a mechanical malfunction of the Boeing 777’s auto throttle,” probably guaranteeing Boeing a decade in court.
The Associated Press reports, “Ribbeck Law Chartered on Monday filed a petition for discovery — a move meant to preserve evidence — in Cook County Circuit Court in Chicago, where Boeing is headquartered.”
Additional formal statements of the cause will be filed against Asiana Airlines and component parts manufactures. Lawyers for Ribbeck say “in addition to potential problems with the auto throttle, some emergency slides reportedly opened inside the plane, injuring passengers and blocking their exit, and some passengers had to be cut out of their seatbelts with a knife.”
Two of eight slides malfunctioned, opening inside the aircraft and pinning two cabin crew.
‘‘We must find the causes of the crash and demand that the problems with the airline and the aircraft are immediately resolved to avoid future tragedies,’’ attorney Monica R. Kelly, head of Ribbeck’s aviation department wrote in a statement.
Boeing had no comment. Not yet. The petition asks a judge to order Boeing to identify the designer and manufacturer of the airplane’s auto throttle and emergency evacuation slides.
Lawyers also want evidence related to the airplane’s trajectory, altitude and speed. They want to be able to examine the wreckage, maintenance records, internal memos and pretty much everything related to the flight.
Pilots of the flight told the National Transportation Safety Board they were using automated equipment to monitor their speed. The NTSB says the auto throttle was ‘‘armed,’’ but don’t yet know if it was engaged.
In other legal action, Asiana Airlines dropped the lawsuit they were pursuing against a KTVU in Oakland who, based on a call-in tip, erroneously reported the names of the pilots of Asiana Airlines Flight 214 as “Sum Ting Wong” and “Wi Tu Low.”
The Tarmac’s View: Other lawsuits will follow this initial action by Ribbeck Law Chartered. My lawyer neighbor, Tait de Blame-Pilot, says attorneys are the only ones who will benefit from the sad events of Flight 214.
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