Asiana San Francisco runway crash survivors
to sue Boeing

Seatbelts and collapsing seats said to have  exacerbated injuries of 83 people

Los Angeles

A group of 83 passengers from the Asiana Airlines flight that crash-landed at San Francisco International Airport earlier this month has launched legal action against Boeing, the plane’s manufacturer, alleging that their injuries were exacerbated by seatbelts and collapsing seats.

Asiana flight 214 from Shanghai via Seoul had more than 300 people on board, including 291 passengers, when the 777 dropped short of the runway, striking a sea wall and slamming onto the tarmac. Three people were killed and more than 180 injured.

Though the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is still in the early stages of a lengthy investigation into the causes of the crash, on Monday law firm Ribbeck Law Chartered filed a “petition for discovery” in a court in Chicago, where Boeing is based. Ribbeck attorney Monica R Kelly said that several of the passengers represented by her firm suffered broken limbs, brain trauma or serious back injuries in the crash.

Though the NTSB investigation has so far focused on the actions of the Asiana flight crew in the minutes leading up to the doomed landing, the petition calls on Boeing to surrender plane maintenance records, as well as design, manufacturing and safety information, beginning the legal route to a lawsuit against the manufacturer. In a press release, Ribbeck said the South Korean airline would shortly be added as a defendant in the suit, along with the companies that build some of the 777’s component parts.

The law firm, which has long experience in tackling similar aviation cases, pointed to reports that the accident may have been caused by a faulty auto-throttle. Following the crash, at least two emergency slides inflated inside the burning fuselage, trapping passengers in the cabin. Some allege their injuries were exacerbated by inadequate seatbelts and collapsing seats. The law firm said a former chief investigator from the Canadian Transportation Safety Board would assist with the lawsuit.

Last Friday the crash claimed its final victim, schoolgirl Liu Yipeng, who had been in critical condition at a San Francisco hospital. Liu was one of three Chinese teenagers killed in the accident, though none of their families are taking part in the planned lawsuit. Among those represented by Ribbeck is Zhang Yuan, who sustained spinal injuries and broke her leg in the crash. In a statement, she said, “My husband, my daughter, other passengers and I would not have suffered such terrible injuries if the sliding ramps and the seat belts would not have trapped us in the burning wreckage.”

Asiana also faces separate legal action from two Korean flight 214 passengers, Younga Jun Machorro and her son, who, in a lawsuit filed in California on Monday, allege that the crew was responsible for “an extensive litany of errors and omissions” caused by improper training and supervision. They are seeking $5m (£3.3m) in damages.

Nobody was killed in the crash-landing of a British Airways 777 at London Heathrow in 2008, though 65 passengers later successfully sued Boeing and Rolls Royce, who settled the suit last year for an undisclosed sum. That plane was found to have lost power due to a build-up of ice, which restricted the flow of fuel into its Rolls Royce engines.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
people

Harry Potter actor suffered 'severe flu-like symptoms' on a flight from London to Orlando

Sport
Kim Sears is reported to have directed abuse at Berdych
tennis
News
news

Rap music mogul accused of running two men over in his truck

News
Gywneth Paltrow proposed that women seek out a special herbal steam-treatment service
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
News
Toronto tops the charts across a range of indexes
news

World cities ranked in terms of safety, food security and 'liveability'

Voices
A mother and her child
voices
Arts and Entertainment
tv

First full-length look is finally here

Voices
The veterans Mark Hayward, Hugh Thompson and Sean Staines (back) with Grayson Perry (front left) and Evgeny Lebedev
charity appealMaverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
News
Tax now accounts for ‘nearly 80%’ of the price of a bottle of whisky
news

Arts and Entertainment
Peppa Pig wearing her golden boots
film

"Oink! Oink! Hee hee hee!" First interview with the big-screen star

Life and Style
tech

Biohacking group hopes technology will lead people to think about even more dystopian uses

Arts and Entertainment
film
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Film director Martin Scorsese
film
News
news

The party's potential nominations read like a high school race for student body president

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Regional Gas Installation Manager - South East England

£36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Regional Gas Installation Manager is r...

Recruitment Genius: Domestic Gas Service and Breakdown Engineer - South East

£29000 - £31000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Domestic Gas Service and Brea...

Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is a two form entry primary schoo...

Recruitment Genius: Engineering Manager - Alconbury

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for an Engineering M...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee