A US lawyer filed suit against planemaker Airbus SA and many aerospace suppliers yesterday seeking unspecified compensation on behalf of survivors of eight of the 228 passengers who died when an Air France flight crashed off the coast of Brazil in June.
The lawsuit said the plaintiffs, relatives of some of the dead from Air France Flight 447, have “suffered a loss of support” and other losses as a result of the deaths. The action was brought under the Illinois Wrongful Death Act and filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois.
The Airbus A330 plane that crashed was “defective and unreasonably dangerous,” the complaint states.
Other defendants include aircraft parts makers Honeywell International, General Electric Co, Rockwell Collins Inc, Thales SA and chip maker Intel Corp.
Airbus, a unit of EADS, had no comment. “We are aware of it. We do not comment on lawsuits,” an Airbus Americas communications manager, Mary Anne Greczyn, said in an email.
Flight 447 plunged into the Atlantic Ocean after it took off from Rio de Janiero headed for Paris on June 1, killing 228 people. Investigators have said they do not yet know what caused the crash of the Airbus A330 aircraft, and the investigation could take another year.
“We’re just seeking fair compensation, financial support for their losses,” said Floyd Wisner, the aviation accident lawyer who filed the complaint. He said the plaintiffs included parents, spouses and children of victims of the crash who were from Hungary, France, Argentina and other countries.
“There is no evidence that any Honeywell product on board Flight 447 was defective or malfunctioned in any way.” Honeywell International said in a statement.
“Because neither the black boxes nor the bulk of the wreckage has been found, the complaint filed in Cook County, Illinois, is only speculation. We will aggressively defend our reputation and products and continue to utilize our technologies to help ensure that such a tragic event can be avoided in the future,” the Honeywell statement added.
Intel said in a statement that after an initial review, it doesn’t believe the complaint has merit as it relates to the chip maker.
Intel spokesperson Chuck Mulloy said in the statement that the complaint makes no specific allegations against Intel, only general allegations. “Intel has not sold components into the aerospace market for well over a decade,” Mulloy said. “So as it relates to Intel, the case is without merit.”
Among other defendants, Rockwell Collins said it does not comment on pending litigation. Representatives for United Technologies unit Hamilton Sundstrand and GE said their companies hadn’t seen the suit and couldn’t comment.
Motorola Inc, Thales, du Pont Co, Goodrich Corp and Raychem Co did not immediately return requests for comment. Judd Wire Co could not be reached to comment.
In August, Reuters reported from France that the family of a flight attendant who died in the crash was seeking legal action against Air France, according to its lawyer.