80 passengers on Asiana Airlines flight 214 are being represented by a law firm who filed a suit against Boeing. The Chicago based Ribbeck Law firm filed a “petition for discovery” according to the LA Times. This would force the airplane manufacturer to hand over information on the design of the parts of the Boeing 777 aircraft. Tragically flight 214 crashed after clipping a sea wall. Three passengers died and more than 180 people were injured.
Among the possibilities of malfunction that attorneys cite was the plane’s auto-throttle, seat belts and evacuation slides. Asiana would be named in a lawsuit in the next oncoming weeks. Many of the passengers are injured with spinal or neck injuries or brain trauma. Injured victims have been quick to file lawsuits and have made statements. Zhang Yuan, a woman who suffered a broken leg and spinal injuries commented, “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.”
Aviation experts are surprised that people are suing before the National Transportation Safety Board finishes its investigation. The completion of that investigation can take more than a year. Aerospace analyst Richard Aboulafia, from the Teal Group Corp, a Virginia based research firm commented. “This is one of the more unusual things I’ve heard, you don’t hear of much success with cases like these, involving an aircraft with such a stellar safety record.” Boeing has built more than 1100 triple 7 planes since 1994 and there has been only one accident.
In the oncoming weeks, the lawsuits will unfold and the black boxes will be investigated. At this time the boxes are being used to understand the moments before the crash to figure out who was to blame and how and why the event happened. The black boxes will likely be considered evidence and will be analyzed thoroughly. Boeing has released a statement offering its condolences to the families of the deceased and to the injured people on the flight.