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This Disgusts Me! - Heathrow emergency: Nine passengers sue

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This Disgusts Me! - Heathrow emergency: Nine passengers sue

Old 11th Jul 2013, 18:48
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This Disgusts Me! - Heathrow emergency: Nine passengers sue

BBC News - Heathrow emergency: Nine passengers sue

How can you sue? OK, early reports say that the cowlings were not latched, but the crew got them home safely.... Is that not the most important thing?

I'm only frequent SLF, but have had 2 go arounds, 1 divert (weather) and a medical emergency which resulted in an early landing at an alternative airport. Also had various technical issues that have delayed takeoff or prolonged taxi after landing (no steering gear on A380 after landing).

Also have had first hand experience of clear air turbulance resulting in injuries.

Maybe I am a jinx........

But NEVER have I thought "No Win No Fee"

What is wrong with these people?
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Old 11th Jul 2013, 19:11
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I suspect it isn't 'these people' but bottom-dwelling, scum eating lawyers that have solicited the passengers to allow them to be represented.

Notice they aren't seeing BA, as the Montreal Convention doesn't consider this to be an accident, but they are going after the manufacturers.

I would have thought that airbus or p&w's notices to 'please make sure your cowlings are latched' would obviate them from any liability, but it is the US courts whose time is being wasted. We may have a final ruling in the next dozen or so years, so don't hold your breath.
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Old 11th Jul 2013, 19:27
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Nine people have now filed a complaint in the US saying that they have suffered severe psychological trauma as a result of the emergency landing, which has affected their personal and professional lives
So what? That is their right. If they have suffered damage, they have the right to seek redress for those damages. You can bet there will be plenty of other commercial litigation that will run into large monetary sums, beyond simply damages claims from some of the passengers.

I am not sure why the complaint would be filed in the US, if the complainants are British and Norwegian citizens. The alleged damage was on a British airline and the witnesses and location of the incident are also in the UK. The manufacturer may be an American company, but it is almost certainly going to appoint a British law firm and agree to provide any necessary documents and witnesses to a British court. By doing so the likely result is that the case will be dismissed on a forum non conveniens application (Piper-V-Reyno 1976)

As ExXb says, don't hold your breath.
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Old 11th Jul 2013, 19:35
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Sorry Beal,

I disagree, what have they lost? What are they claiming for?

As I said, I had a small injury from clear air turbulance - only bruising and chafing (sp?) - and yes I was wearing a seat belt, but sue???? really? I was brought down safely!

I HATE the claim culture. A hole in the pavement - watch where you are going! An icy pavement - wear suitable shoes! Take responsibility for oneself.

Not having a go at you Beal... trust me.... but everyone seems to want to get compensation for everything these days and it is costing us all!

Yes, as I said, early reports are saying that the cowlings were not latched. That is sloppy, but we have all made mistakes! No injuries resulted from this! Some trauma, yes, but have we not all had that?

Last edited by Jetdriver; 11th Jul 2013 at 19:46.
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Old 11th Jul 2013, 20:17
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Sorry Beal,

Just reread your post..... at first I thought you were defending the claimants! I see you are now not doing that....

Apologies.
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Old 11th Jul 2013, 23:55
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I am not sure why the complaint would be filed in the US...
...huh???
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Old 12th Jul 2013, 01:53
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So ..
  • Aircraft built in Europe.
  • Engines by IAE (HQ in Europe but largest shareholder is United Technologies of the USA)
  • Operated by a British Company whose staff [appear] to have failed in some duties (preventing the problem) but succeeded in others (no loss of life or injury)
One country has a reputation for paying people who get scalded by coffee - so let's have a whack at them.

We used to say that "The Americans are out for a fast buck" but it's actually the Brits.

Last edited by PAXboy; 12th Jul 2013 at 01:56.
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Old 12th Jul 2013, 02:25
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Whatever the merits of their claim, it is unlikely to be either "fast" or "bucks". The links I gave illustrate why this kind of "forum shopping" is unlikely to be successful.

The flip side of this coin, is that the forum this case is likely to end up in, will result in a painfully long case that will favour the defendants and simply wear down the complainants. There is almost no punitive risk to large corporations, insurers, or those with deep pockets. This is why they will ensure that they forego the "convenience" of the chosen legal forum, to ensure it is heard in one where, even they lose, it will hardly matter.
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Old 12th Jul 2013, 08:25
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OK, early reports say that the cowlings were not latched, but the crew got them home safely.... Is that not the most important thing?
That rather depends on your point of view.

While you may be sanguine about whatever hair-raising airborne experiences you have enjoyed, not everyone reacts in the same way.

BA were lucky, in that there was little collateral damage when the cowls departed (unlike some of the previous incidents), but the pax on one side of the aircraft were still treated to the sight of a flaming engine as the aircraft made its return to LHR.

More importantly, the incident was entirely preventable, being a result of poor design and shoddy maintenance which had resulted in multiple previous instances of the same event. That's what you should be reserving your "disgust" for.

So it seems to me entirely reasonable that punitive damages should be sought, particularly as that is going to provide the single biggest incentive for Airbus/IAE to redesign the cowl latching mechanism and/or incorporate some form of "unlocked" warning system.
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Old 12th Jul 2013, 11:47
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Could someone explain what is to stop Airbus and IAE just ignoring any US court action since they are not US companies? Don't bother defending, and don't bother paying if damages are awarded.
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Old 12th Jul 2013, 12:05
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IAE are majority owned in the USA (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Aero_Engines) and Airbus have many clients there. Neither would wish themselves to be shown up as putting pax at risk. They will both push the blame back on to the operator.

From an interested layman's perspective, it is the Board and senior mgmt of BA that have questions to answer.
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Old 12th Jul 2013, 12:14
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Technical correction?

ExXb: "bottom-dwelling, scum eating lawyers"

Surely bottom dwelling dregs eating lawyers!

(with acknowledgement to WW2 cartoon caption "even Hitler can't be dregs and scum")
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Old 12th Jul 2013, 14:55
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Disgusts, but doesn't surprise me.

I wonder how many of these passengers would actually be able to prove in a court of law the distress this incident has caused them. Eg if they are suffering sleepless nights, could they prove beyond a reasonable doubt that it was this flight and not something else causing it?

Like others have said, this will drag through the courts for a long time doing nothing by costing companies a lot of money and making a lot of money for the lawyers.
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Old 12th Jul 2013, 19:26
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DaveReidUK,

Thanks for your comments.

Yes, I guess my level of travel and general interest in aviation makes me a little bit more understanding of what is happening when I sit on an aircraft. Especially when things don't quite go to 'plan'.

However, I still hate the fact that whatever happens in any walk of life, the solicitors leap at the chance of claiming a few or $ for those "affected".

Yes - there was a up, but everyone is home safely. As has been said, how do you prove beyond any doubt that those claiming have been affected?

Last edited by Jetdriver; 12th Jul 2013 at 19:49.
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Old 12th Jul 2013, 21:40
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Theviewdownhere............

Have to say I agree with you but it keeps an army of lawyers fully employed. Likewise "security" and "'elf & safety" employ armies of people, often doing pretty useless, pointless activities.
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Old 13th Jul 2013, 01:26
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Planemike

How right you are - lawers milk every or $ they can (I know that after my divorce!!)

However, the general public still have to buy into the claim culture! I know people that have claimed for whiplash after a 5 mph shunt.... and won!!! how can this be possible? By doing this, they add to all of our insurance. I have voiced my objection to be told 'well everyone does it!'

Time for this to stop!!
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Old 13th Jul 2013, 01:49
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DaveReidUk,

You also state:

"More importantly, the incident was entirely preventable, being a result of poor design and shoddy maintenance which had resulted in multiple previous instances of the same event. That's what you should be reserving your "disgust" for."

Yes it was preventable, early indications indicate that:

1. Engineers inspected the engines - maintained the engines and did not re-latch the cowling

2. On 'Walk around' this was not spotted

3. There is almost certainly* a design flaw by Airbus and the engine manufacturers that this was possible

However - the fact that passengers and greedy lawyers are sueing does not rectify this!!! I believe, and please correct me if I am wrong, as I am just SLF, the fact that an incident has occured, a recommendation will be made by the powers that be!

I do believe that the greedy are just taking a punt at winning some compensation! As I said, maybe that is just me being more chilled with aviation - but I would have the same view with the railways, underground or any other form of transport!

* disclaimer - no-one has seen the final report - so not casting aspercions (sp?)

Last edited by Jetdriver; 13th Jul 2013 at 02:45.
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Old 13th Jul 2013, 08:15
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And who is going to provide documented evidence to these get rich quick lawyers to say that there is a fault with the cowlings or that a BA engineer failed to check that the locks were secure?
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Old 13th Jul 2013, 09:36
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American courts award more money and for lesser trauma. That's why
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Old 15th Jul 2013, 13:35
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>>>And who is going to provide documented evidence to these get rich quick lawyers to say that there is a fault with the cowlings or that a BA engineer failed to check that the locks were secure?

Not really needed, as the evidence is that the cowlings obviously were not latched correctly...

If BA don't have a suitable "process" for preventing this and so are putting lives in danger, then they need some "incentive" to make sure it is "safe".

Pay money to get it right, or pay damages if you couldn't be be bothered to make sure it is right and you get caught...

The cowlings were not latched safely - that may be a design fault, or "someone" didn't do this properly. But the walk around "should" have discovered this, so it may be a combination of 2 failings.
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