Air France hit with second Toronto lawsuit

10th August 2005, Comments 0 comments

OTTAWA, Aug 9 (AFP) - A second class-action lawsuit has been filed accusing Air France and others of negligence in last week's fiery crash of an Airbus 340 at Toronto airport, the lawyer representing plaintiffs told AFP Tuesday.

OTTAWA, Aug 9 (AFP) - A second class-action lawsuit has been filed accusing Air France and others of negligence in last week's fiery crash of an Airbus 340 at Toronto airport, the lawyer representing plaintiffs told AFP Tuesday.

The lawsuit, filed on Monday in Toronto by passenger Sahar Alqudsi, her husband Younis Qawasmi and another unidentified couple on behalf of all 297 passengers who survived the near disaster, is seeking 150 million Canadian dollars (124 million US).

The plaintiffs accuse Air France, Toronto airport authorities, control tower staff, Airbus, and the two pilots at the helm of Flight 358 of negligence in the incident.

"We've got injuries, a terrified little girl, loss of personal belongings, photos and the like, one woman hurt her neck pretty badly and had to get an ultrasound of her abdomen. This case is important because it will give airlines a sense of prudence," lawyer Glyn Hotz said.

Some 25 people have called him asking to join in the class-action lawsuit so far, he said.

Another class-action lawsuit seeking CAD 325m (US $270m) was filed Friday by another passenger, Suzanne Deak of Toronto, against Air France and others. Her lawyer Paul Miller said he expects more to be filed in the coming weeks.

Only one class-action suit will be allowed to proceed, however, and it is up to the lawyers themselves to agree or a judge to decide which one goes forward.

"There are people who are seriously injured, despite what has been reported. One gentleman is in intensive care with a broken back, another is awaiting surgery for a leg fracture, and others who are seriously traumatized, too scared to get into a car," Miller said.

"I expect someone to be held responsible," he said.

Investigators have said the massive jet was too high on its approach and touched down too far along the rain-soaked runway before overshooting, skidding off into a ravine and bursting into flames.

Air France has so far advanced between US $2,500 and US $3,000 to each of the flight's passengers to provide them with emergency clothing, accommodation and other immediate necessities.

Aside from the 297 passengers on board, all 12 crew also escaped off the jet following the crash last Tuesday.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news, Air France, Toronto, airline, crash

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