Asiana Airlines Accident Lawsuit Filed By Two Passengers

A lawsuit has been filed by two passengers on Asiana Airlines flight 214, which crash landed at San Francisco airport earlier this month, alleging that the plane accident caused by physical injuries and emotional distress.  

The complaint was filed against Asiana Airlines last week in U.S. District Court in San Francisco by Younga Jun Machorro and her son, Benjamin Hyo-Ik Machorro. Her husband, Hector Machorro, is also a part of the complaint, but he was not on the plane and is suing for loss of consortium due to injuries suffered by his wife.

The case is believed to be the first Asiana Airlines lawsuit filed over the crash landing, which resulted in two deaths and sent at least 181 people to local hospitals.

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The Machorros allege that the plane accident caused severe back injuries, and also resulted in emotional injury due to the traumatic crash.

Preliminary reports from investigators have suggested that the Asiana Airlines plane was flying too slow and at too low an altitude to clear a sea wall at the end of the runway, which juts out into the water.

The flight crew reportedly tried to abort the landing and circle around again, but the tail of the plane clipped the sea wall and was torn off, sending the plane skidding across the runway.

Reports also indicate that this flight was the pilot’s first time flying a Boeing 777 and the flight crew included an instructor. Investigators have found no signs of mechanical failure, but caution that it is far too early to determine with any certainty what caused the crash.

Two 16-year-old Chinese girls were killed and a variety of other injuries were reported among the more than 300 people on board the plane. One of the girls was killed appears to have been run over by a fire truck after the crash, but investigators have suggested that the driver could not see her because she was covered in firefighting foam.

Asiana Airlines, a South Korean-based company, may argue that they can only be held liable for up to $150,000 for injuries suffered by passengers. However, that limit disappears if the passengers can show that the airline was responsible for the crash, which the Machorros are claiming.

Their lawsuit charges the company with negligence and recklessness due to the actions of the pilots. Attorneys for the family have pointed out that the crash occurred in the middle of a clear day with no wind.

Experts predict that this case is likely the first of many following the crash, but some expect Asiana to try to force lawsuits filed by non-U.S. citizens to be brought in other countries, where they have a stronger chance of winning or of keeping any monetary awards lower than those typically awarded in the U.S. The Machorros are U.S. citizens.


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