More than 70 passengers aboard an Asiana Airlines flight that crashed in San Francisco two years ago have reached a settlement in their lawsuits against the airline, attorneys for the passengers and airline said in a court filing Tuesday.
The settlement with 72 passengers who filed personal injury claims also includes Boeing Co., which made the destroyed 777, and Air Cruisers Co., the New Jersey company that made its evacuation slides. The filing did not include the settlement amount.
Plaintiffs' attorney Frank Pitre said this is the first set of lawsuits stemming from the crash to be resolved. Dozens of additional cases are still pending.
“This is the first positive step for these passengers to be able to get closure on a tragic, catastrophic crash and hopefully try to get their lives back together,” Pitre said. “We're pleased we've been able to get this first phase resolved.”
The July 6, 2013, crash of Asiana Flight 214 killed three Chinese teens and left nearly 200 people injured. The airliner traveling from South Korea slammed into a seawall at the end of a runway during final approach to San Francisco International Airport. The impact ripped off the back of the plane, tossed out three flight attendants and their seats, and scattered pieces of the jet across the runway as it spun and skidded to a stop.
Federal safety investigators have blamed the pilots, saying they bungled the landing approach by inadvertently deactivating the plane's key control for airspeed and making other errors.
But the National Transportation Safety Board also said the complexity of the Boeing 777's autothrottle and auto flight director — two of the plane's key systems for controlling flight — contributed to the accident. Materials provided to airlines by Chicago-based Boeing that fail to make clear under what conditions the autothrottle doesn't automatically maintain speed were also faulted.