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Squawks & HeadlinesLaw firm says it's suing Boeing over Asiana crash

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Law firm says it's suing Boeing over Asiana crash

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I find this ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS!! Wasn't any mechanical failure ruled out by the NTSB? That would INCLUDE the Autothrottle, wouldn't it? I'm sorry, but I just don't understand these peoples' mentality. Unless there was a mechanical failure on Boeing's part, you have no case. (news.yahoo.com) More...

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bravowren
bravowren 16
If anything, Boeing should be highly commended for manufacturing an aircraft so sturdy, that despite being flown and landed in a manner clearly outside its design operating specifications, it stayed intact enough to have so many survivors.

Regarding the auto-throttles malfunctioning, even if the NTSB is indeed able to determine for sure that they were engaged, it still does not relieve the crew of its responsibility to monitor airspeed, a most basic safety requirement in this critical phase of flight.

As far as the slides malfunctioning, are not all bets off on systems functioning as designed when the aircraft is damaged beyond a certain point? Is there a g-limit minimum load that is required by law for the proper functioning of slides (similar to that required for seat restraints)?

I am sick of lawyers appearing on TV saying that it is unconscionable for Boeing not to have had an aural warning for drop in airspeed etc. etc. How dumbed down can we make these aircraft? Commercial aircraft are not like automobiles. Automobiles are steered by amateurs, and require idiot-proof systems to protect the unwashed masses. Passenger aircraft on the other hand are highly specialized tools intended to be used by highly trained professionals.

Like many specialized tools, they can cause serious harm in the wrong hands, ironically, harm to those very persons they are designed to protect. Stop blaming the tool! This culture of transferring blame and not accepting personal responsibility has really gone to far, in big part because of the increasingly inflated monetary awards being handed out in US courts.
bbabis
bbabis 3
Every point made is the truth. If we make aircraft and systems absolutely fool proof, then the airlines will figure that they can have absolute fools fly them.

Aircraft today are capable of totally programmed autonomous flights. But what if something with the automation goes wrong such as auto-throttle? Well, we better have a pilot or two on board. What is the use of having the pilots on board if they can't handle the system failure? That is why pilots train. Every training session I've been to for the past 35 years on many aircraft types has been based on recognizing and handling system failures because we know it happens and must plan for it.

The FAA and NTSB both know that evacuation after an accident can be hampered in many ways and the safety rules plan for it. During tests the evacuation must take place with half of the emergency exits and slides blocked or malfunctioning. In this case only 2 of 8 malfunctioned. What happens, a law suit instead of an at-a-boy for Boeing and the system manufacturers? This suit is a pure money grab and has nothing to do with better safety.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
Wow, what a thought in the first line, ........ fools fly them.....
I abs ditto.
hviswanathan
Hari Viswanathan 2
And what airspeed is too slow. Ok, if Boeing were to put in an airspeed warning, what about altitude (another warning for that too). Oh wait, it already exists it is called a STALL warning which did happen with the shaker stick. No excuse on this one for 3 people not monitoring speed.
Pileits
Pileits 2
Well said bravowren, lawyers just taking advantage of other people's misfortunes, as they smuggle head for the bank depositing another BIG legal win.
HunterTS4
Toby Sharp 9
You don't have to understand their mentality. Once you accept that all they are trying to get is money, then it starts to make some sense.FUBAR!
yr2012
matt jensen 7
Are they going to sue for pilot error too?
WillitRun
WillitRun 12
Are they going to sue SFO for having a seawall in the way? What do you call 1000 lawyers at the bottom of the ocean? A good start!!
flyingj481
flyingj481 4
May as well sue the Earth for having wind and rotating away from the airplane upon landing!
jkudlick
Jeremy Kudlick 2
And gravity, don't forget gravity. :D
whip5209
Ken McIntyre 3
You know why lawyers wear ties?...To keep the foreskin from snapping up around their heads!
tisom2
Terry Isom 2
WillitRun. I like that one...!
jbbooks1
Lewis Tripp 2
What is worse than a bus load of lawyers going over a cliff?? 2 empty seats.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
Lawyers do the bidding of clients and against payment. Do not pay or hire them, see the effect!
They defend murderers and cheats and traitors too! Even if implicated.
No offence meant.
joelwiley
joel wiley 6
"Clearly Boeing was negligent in failing to do due diligence in selling an A/C to Asiana without verifying that the company could safely operate the A/C"

Maybe the Judge should issue a Temporary Order restraining Boeing from flying lawyers.
99NY
99NY 4
Probably a safe bet to say that Boeing has more lawyers than most compaines have employees. I think they'll be able to defray this suit onto Asiana fairly easily.
dbaker
Daniel Baker 3
The basis is explained in the article, "In addition to potential problems with the Boeing 777's 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, the firm contends."
preacher1
preacher1 5
It ain't gonna be pretty and I figure Boeing was already getting ready for it, when the NTSB first said something about the slides and seat belts. Now, this bird was delivered in 06 I think, so that is 7 years mx that they may can lay back on Asiana. They will just have to spend time & money to do it, but it ain't their first rodeo. It will be interesting.
Britishboyy
Tyler Tashji 1
But I don't believe Boeing makes the slides OR the seatbelts. They just install them. The slide and seatbelt manufacturers should be sued as well if that's the case.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 2
Probably hoping for a big settlement from a defendant with big pockets, and lots to lose reputation-wise in terms of future orders and sales.

That way, they get a huge bag of money without actually having to do the work of litigating the case on behalf of their clients.
chris13
Chris Bryant 2
They're lawyers. What's to understand? I read an article today about a law professor that has his students file real lawsuits as part of their class "practice."
TSmooth8403
TSmooth8403 2
Doubt it makes it to trial, but if it did comes down to it why not sue the company that did the last C-Check or Heavy check on the aircraft. The auto-throttle system is a part of that check and should have been caught if there was a problem with the system. Just because Boeing made the aircraft they are not responsible for the maintenance. But let me guess, Asiana services there own fleet right?
JetAJockey
Ethan McDowell 2
While they're at it, they should sue SFO Airport Fire and Rescue for not "watching where they were going" and running over one of the victims. After all, it was that pesky flame retardant foam that obscured the passenger.

That foam should be clear!

Smell the sarcasm?
onceastudentpilot
tim mitchell 2
You don't see it but that is genius.....He's running a law firm with out having to pay other lawyers and paralegals; he is probably laughing all the way to the bank...lol
Pileits
Pileits 1
Hopefully against each other as well as the professor.
jwmson
jwmson 3
Readers, don't post your true feelings about these lawyers, they might sue you.
whip5209
Ken McIntyre 3
And the vultures begin to circle...
hviswanathan
Hari Viswanathan 3
Its because of these ridiculous lawsuits like this that Starbucks charges $5 for a cup of coffee (to print something useless such "Contents might be hot" on their cups). What about the other 150-200 people who were able to walk out unscathed from the crash. Can Boeing sue back saying there would be 200 dead if their design on 777 was not as good.
LancairESP
LancairESP 2
"The first thing we do," said the character in Shakespeare's Henry VI, is "kill all the lawyers." I disagree with that all inclusive statement, but . . .
pthomas745
Pa Thomas 1
Take a breath.....
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
Boeing are morally and legally bound to fight, if necessary tooth and nail. Do not forget they(Bosses) are answerable to their bosses(the Share Holders).They will not be able to settle, inside or out side unless the report points even a minutest doubt on the aircraft! So 'nuisance value'? Pretty remote.
siriusloon
siriusloon 1
Calm down, everyone. All you crash experts should know by now that after a crash, they sue EVERYBODY. Part of it is that it's a lot easier to drop someone from the list later than to add someone to it.

The other part is called "nuisance suit". A good example was a crash a few decades ago after which one enterprising lawyer sued the company that made the paint that another company had painted onto the crashed aircraft several years before the crash. Neither the paint nor its application had anything to do with what happened before, during, or after the crash and neither did the company that manufactured the paint. However, it was going to cost them a considerable amount of money to mount a legal defence to make sure that the jury did not assign even a fraction of one percent of the blame, so they made a "go away and leave us alone" out-of-court settlement offer. The only expense incurred by the lawyers was first the addition and then the removal of the paint manufacturer's name from the lawsuit, so the money they offered to settle was what is known in the trade as Easy Money. The out-of-court settlement was agreed to and everyone was happy, to varying degrees. The lawyers who filed the lawsuit were happy because they got money for their clients (less 1/3 commission) and didn't have to try to prove in court that the paint had anything to do with the crash (thereby eliminating the need to practise keeping a straight face) and the paint company was reasonably happy because they'd settled for much less than it would have cost to defend themselves in court and far less than if a stupid jury full of armchair instant experts somehow decided that the paint might have been a factor in some way.

If they'll sue the paint manufacturer, you can be damned sure they'll sue the airframe manufacturer and it's no surprise at all that they'll try to pin some blame on Boeing. If they can create any doubt in the minds of the jury that if only Boeing had designed "X" better or differently, then the crew wouldn't have made a stupid mistake, then that jury might decide Boeing is partially responsible and the payout to the plaintiffs could be increased.

Another factor is that Boeing will be doing a full court press to prove it was pilot error, not the fault of the aircraft, thereby doing the lawyers' work for them to win this case. By defending itself, Boeing will win the case for the plaintiffs against the airline, which is the real case all along.

So, dear friends, chillax about Boeing being named in the suit. This is standard operating procedure. Just be patient for it all to play out. It might make Boeing's stock dip slightly in price, but it'll go back up, so swoop in and buy low. All of the lawyers for all of the companies named in the suit, whether they win, lose, or settle out of court, will cash in big. The victims on whose behalf the suit has bene filed will eventually get a bit of money, but after the lawyers deduct all of their costs (and at $500 per hour even if they only did 5 minutes of work and $5 per photocopy, the costs add up fast), then take at least 1/3 in commission, then Uncle Sam gets his cut in taxes, they won't end up with much. It's not Boeing who needs your sympathy and your caps lock outrage.
JENNYJET
JENNIFER JORDAN 1
Perhaps airlines should seek to identify, by name, each and every lawyer involved in this shameful attempt to extract money out of a tragedy where all but 2 of those on board SURVIVED! Then place a world wide ban on them being allowed to fly as a passenger because they could pose a danger to the flight due to wanton fishing for potential law claims if the plane landed too hard or the flight got a little bit too bumpy at 35000 feet and they could not eat without getting food in their ears etc.. if they must fly, place them all in the cargo hold with an oxygen mask feeding them farmyard smells to keep them quiet!

I studied law but thank God I chose NOT to practice because with these idiots on the loose I feel shamed by their insensitive attempts to get rich.
cmuncy
Chris Muncy 1
The main reason that the Boeing is getting sued is to preserve any evidence. Essentially it's standard procedure. You sue the manufacture, the owner, and the operator, sometimes the same people, sometimes 3 different entities.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
Sadly, spellcheck thinks it it knows what I want to type better than I do, and goes ahead and autocorrects, and not always for the better. The worst us when it takes a perfectly good English word and substitutes another perfectly good English word with a completely different meaning.*

I catch many but not all of these gaffs. On the road, on a small screen more slip by. I'll try to be more careful.

*wishing I could edit a post. It so much easier to read the post and see the mistakes after hitting the post button. I can never see more than a handful of lines at once on the comment posting screen.
MHarryE
Michael Enzmann 1
It's not only the party or parties being sued, but consideration is needed where to file suit. Go back 39 years to the first wide body crash, a Turkish Airlines DC-10 on a flight from Paris to London crashing in France. Obvious - USA courts pay higher settlements. Turkish Airlines = not deep pocketbooks. France where the person who closed the cargo door resided and worked at CDG - not a good payback. Great Brittan - only passengers. McDonnell-Douglas in a California court - $$$. Okay, that's settled, we make sure the primary case is in the USA and California. As it turns out that is the location where the memo was found from a Convair executive stating, "Someday one of these cargo doors is going to fall off and we are going to lose a plane full of passengers" (not exact words in the memo, but the correct gist). It was actually the third documented failure that resulted in this crash (first testing, second saved by miraculous piloting skills) but they did end up getting the door redesigned but the beginning of the end for MD.
bbabis
bbabis 1
You missed the point Siri. Most everybody here knows what is going on and how it works. It doesn't need to be explained. What needs to happen is a groundswell to change the "Standard operating procedure" that you gave such a fine example of. Tort reform has been discussed for a long time. Maybe this will bring it back to the forefront. The best fix is "loser pays all costs for the parties involved." The frivolous and money seeking suits will stop.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
I think you are right.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
Friend, why blame the Lawyer/s? Why not curse those greedy ba***** who are looking for money and hence seek out some lawyer? The Lawyer/s will or can get ONLY a part of what the client gets. Do keep this in mind.
Any and every lawyer is expected to do what the client asks to be done, to the best of the ability of individual lawyer. Do not forget, generally, one side wins and other looses, both are represented by respective lawyers.
Please do not take it otherwise.
JENNYJET
JENNIFER JORDAN 1
Perhaps I should have said 'predatory lawyers'...I think you know what I am saying here but otherwise, your remarks are duly noted.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
ThanX.
But ever since Darwin explained the theory about living beings, "Survival of the fittest", even all humans live on the basis of being predator, in some form or the other, to survive. With in the family to entire external world!
Pardon my avoidable 'sermon'.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
The concept of suing for money is a bit weird in that it only works against persons of some wealth. Does no good to sue a poor person (can't get blood out of a turnip). Then there is "punitive" damages. Who says "justice is blind"? Lol.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
Boeing's got bug pockets. So lawyers like to go after big pickets because it can result in bigger payouts and larger contingency payments to the lawyers' firm.

Some points here:
1. Even if the autothrottles are shown to perfectly operative, the attorneys will claim that their design is defective because it can lead to misunderstanding of whether they are on or off. "What exactly is the difference between armed and engaged anyway?" would be argued.
2. Most injuries will prove to be cause by the seatbelt design, which is in use on every modern airliner. The lap belt alone does not adequately prevent injury for a passenger who has not gotten into a bracing position. The torso gets whipped around like a rag doll, with all those G forces on impact.

3. The seat belts are certified by a regulatory body. The manufacturer installs the safety devices as per the certification.

4. The folks up front (flight deck, business class had better safety restraints which include a shoulder strap/harness component. The data will show that these folks will have suffered much fewer injuries, even fewer by proportion.

5. Over time, seat design must become lighter to allow for the extra shoulder strap and attachment point. This will provide better safety for passengers. It won't happen overnight.

6. There is less opportunity to collect for the aspect of the seatbelts that lead to some of the more significant injuries (neck, back) because tw design has been certified.

7. That some belts were rendered inoperable with the large forces placed on them ledto some having to be cut off. This may be a basis for a suit, despite the low likelihood the damaged restraints led to additional injuries.

8. The malfunctioning slides is more of an issue which would be difficult to speculate until the NTSB provides a finding in tear report. Was it operator error, maintenance issues, or design flaw? Suit provides for future payment in case of actionable finding by NTSB.

9. But bottom line, this accident need not have happened. It was a beautiful day.

10. The 777 is one of the safety airlines in use today with many hours of use and almost no incidents of any significance. Only once was an issue due to the equipment, and even that case was due to a faulty part in the power plant. Airlines choose their own engines and engine manufacture.

11. If Asiana had proper pilot training, and pilots properly trained to handle both automatic and manual operations of their aircraft, none of these other issues would even come up.

12. All injuries were primarily a result of pilot not performing adequately on a beautiful day with functioning equipment. All else is secondary.

13. Lawyers just looking for money. Maybe for yet another multimillion dollar vacation home. The passengers are just pawns. They will not recover as much individually as the lawyers despite bin the ones who were subjected to death, dismemberment, and permanent injury.
Pileits
Pileits 2
Try using a spell checker before you publish your comments.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
Sadly, spellcheck thinks it it knows what I want to type better than I do.*

*wishing that posts could be edited, even after posting.
sstuff
sstuff 1
And even after the spell-checker completes its all-too-imperfect function, *proof read* what the spell checker did to your prose. *Then* hit the "post my comment" button. Burma Shave.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 0
Friends, here is my '2 cent' opinion.
First and fore most. Chances are that the proceedings will be or should be adjourned TILL a final accident report of the crash is available. Without that(the hard facts/evidence) NO court is expected to proceed! Irrespective of the country. And this may take a while.
Warning signals, I guess a beep-beep sound appears. Even if vocal signal which will have to be mono syllable kind, is built into the system, with more than one action going wrong, it will be like many persons shouting at the same time. Even with current warning lights if more than one light is activated, generally problem CAN arise which one is sighted first? Even if the time lag is in milli seconds, in crisis such a time lag can be serious. No?
In every suit there are two parties/sides, lawyers of both arguing on same law and/or facts BUT use different line of arguments. Why? Because that is what retainership is all about! And that is how every litigant judges the scholastic ability of a lawyer before engaging her/him.
Do we not see every day how a lawyer tries to defend a criminal who finally is proved to be guilty and convicted?
You all know it already. Yet I have only tried to remind about the way lawyers ARE MADE TO WORK. Money part? Yes, bigger the stakes(incl. net worth of client) larger is her/his compensation. Take a simple case. Bail application. If accused is a celebrity of sorts the fees can be in millions against if the person is an ordinary nondescript citizen. Guilt being same! And even lawyer being the same.
I may be sounding too academic, but this is the fact about legal profession and you all know it too well. But wish to feign ignorance either to make fun or to denounce or down play this group of society! A group , the proverbial "necessary evil".
chalet
chalet 0
While the odious but inevitable ambulance lawyers are out trying to milk millions from Boeing, which I am sure they won't get any, it is not out of the question to install an aural warning voice saying "too slow, speed up" or words to that effect in the same fashion that dangerously too low altitudes prompt a scream of PULL UP, PULL UP.
upchucked
C. WESLEY GRADY -2
The purpose of starting the suit at this point is to make certain that none of the potentially responsible parties runs a document through a shredder or destroys a part in the name of testing. Once evidence is lost, by whatever means, then part of the truth goes with it. While there are time periods during which actions can be commenced, and those certainly have not even gotten beyond the period of days, let alone years, there is no such protection against the preservation of evidence.

Now, lets just for argument purposes, say that the autothrottles were defective, because of the way they were designed, the way they were built or the way they were maintained, and that the defective autothrottles were 5% responsible for the accident, that the slides were defective in design or build or maintenance and that the same were responsible in part for some of the injuries sustained by the passengers or crew. If the injured parties were to bring action only against Asiana and proof was later introduced by Asiana that there were equipment problems, the injured parties (one report says that more than 80 people have severe back and neck injuries) might be denied compensation for their injuries. The injured are entitled to a just recovery for those injuries, just someone injured in an automobile accident should be allowed to pursue those who caused or exacerbated his or her injury.

The attorneys didn't build the plane, they didn't build the autothrottles, they didn't maintain the plane and they certainly didn't fly the plane. Until companies start to come forward and admit that they were at least partially at fault, they only protection that the passengers have is to hire the best legal team they can and make certain that all the parties are, at least, investigated to determine their culpability in the accident and the resulting injuries.

Look at the way that Asiana is employing the terms of the Montreal Convention, seeking to deny the passengers from Korea, Japan or China the right to sue in the United States, even though many of the defendant companies are US companies and even though the accident occurred here. The Montreal Convention allows Asiana to force those Asian passengers to sue in their home jurisdictions, even though it would be the most inconvenient forum, because it will be the most inconvenient forum.

It is a game of strategy and will be played out over the coming years and ultimately those responsible, even in part, will be forced to compensate the injured.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal -5
From one practitioner to another. 'Go ahead and make your killing, right or wrong, no matter what!'
Because if these guys do not do it, they(prospective litigants) will lure some one else. So why not these?
It may take quite a few hearings to decide, whether Chicago or SFO! And then .......