Airbus sued over plane plunge

Image by StarvingFox via Flickr

Passengers on a Qantas flight from Singapore to Perth in Australia that twice plunged hundreds of metres - injuring more than 100 people - will sue manufacturer Airbus in the US over a computer malfunction that caused the mishap.

The Airbus A330 had to make an emergency landing in Learmonth in West Australia’s north-west in 2008 after the mayday alert.

Many passengers and crew members on board suffered trauma and physical injury.

US lawyer Floyd Wisner is representing 76 people in the compensation claim against Airbus and other companies that make the computer system that malfunctioned.

“It was a mechanical defect caused by the manufacturer,” he said.

Mr Wisner said he was confident that the compensation claim would be successful.

In a separate claim, a lawsuit for about 20 people is being filed in Australia against Qantas.

Lawyer Peter Carter has been working with the US lawyers and has already finalised some passenger claims with Qantas.

Mr Carter said Qantas had a primary liability to the passengers under federal law.

But Mr Wisner said Qantas was not responsible and praised the pilots for their efforts.

“This is more of a protection action in Australia but the real case is against the manufacturer,” he said.

“We just want to make sure people are covered from every angle.”

Mr Wisner claimed passengers who settled with Qantas were agreeing to ‘a fraction’ of the compensation they were entitled to.

“The compensation cases in the US for those on this flight who experienced such terror will potentially be for much greater amounts than what the carrier wants people to accept under Australian law” he said.

Anyone who was on the flight must make a compensation claim before October 6 - the two-year statute of limitations deadline.

Authored by: Richard Lee

Richard has been traveling since he took a year off from college, where he was doing a BA in Journalism. He traveled half the world, backpacking with his girlfriend (now his wife). They spent time in South America, Asia, Greece and much of Europe. After writing about his experiences for several airline and travel magazines, he never went back to college.