Air Inter (1992)
Date: January 20, 1992. Airline: Air Inter, Flight # 148. Aircraft: Airbus A320-111. Location: Strasbourg, France. Victims: 87:96
On January 20, 1992 an Airbus A320 operated by Air Inter, a French company, crashed on landing near Strasbourg Airport (France). Six Spaniards, executives with a Spanish company who were traveling on business, died in that accident. Legal inquiries went on for 17 years, brought to an end by judgments by the Court of Appeals and the Court of Cassation exonerating all of the defendants. Pilot error was finally held to be the cause of the accident even though the victims claimed aircraft design flaws and faulty operation and had also blamed the airline’s operations management.
Our Law firm represented the interests of the family members of the six deceased Spaniards in both France and Spain. Thanks to our fast intervention, an insurance settlement was soon achieved under French procedure, much more favorable than Spanish procedure. Our clients received their compensation in less than a year. We subsequently represented our clients throughout the long judicial ordeal until the final decision of the Cassation Court nearly 17 years after the accident.
Gulf Air (2000)
Date: August 23, 2000. Airline: Gulf Air Flight # 072. Aircraft: Airbus A320-212. Location: Manama, Bahrain Victims: 143:143.
On August 23, 2000 a Bahraini Gulf Air Airbus A320 crashed into the sea while landing at Manama Airport (Bahrain). All crew members and passengers died, mostly Egyptians and Bahraini. With the support of the Egyptian authorities, we first began representing a large number of Egyptian families and later also represented Bahraini families who had organized their own local Victims’ Association. In this case our law firm represented 350 family members of the over 70 passengers who had lost their lives in that accident. The most difficult aspect of the proceedings was to find a reliable jurisdiction in a venue that would objectively study the facts and would consider reasonable damages, something virtually impossible to achieve in Egypt or Bahrain. We therefore carefully designed a strategy that allowed us to take action against the carrier and the airline in France. After a tough legal battle, we finally reached a compensation settlement in line with the most up-to-date and more favorable French standards. At the same time, our clients received answers and an independent and objective explanation of the cause of the accident from our aviation experts.
Bashkirian Airlines /DHL Aviation (2002)
Date: July 1, 2002. Airline: Bashkirian Airlines/DHL Flight # 2937/611. Aircraft: TU-154M/Boeing 757-23APF Location: Ueberlingen, Germany. Victims: 71:71.
In the early hours of 1 July 2002, two commercial aircraft collided while in cruise flight. All the passengers and crew members on both aircraft died, including 30 adolescents whose around 100 family members are represented by our Law Firm. The accident had many complex causes, but the ultimate reason for the collision was the malfunction of a safety instrument on both aircraft. After unsuccessful litigation in the US against the manufacturers of this instrument, our Firm pursued a civil action against the same companies in Spain. Following long and difficult court proceedings, both the Barcelona court of first instance and the court of appeals held the product to be faulty and to be directly involved in the collision. The companies have had to compensate our clients according to American standards, over three million dollars for each of the victims’ families. The Supreme Court subsequently confirmed the defendants’ liability in 2015. See more at http://wp.me/p4ChdY-BQ.
Flash Airlines (2004)
Date: January 3, 2004. Airline: Flash Airlines Flight # 604. Aircraft: Boeing 737-3Q8. Location: Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. Victims: 148:148
A Flash Airlines Boeing 737 crashed into the sea on take-off on January 3, 2004, killing all on board. Almost all the passengers were French tourists coming back home from holidays at a famous spa on the Red Sea. Our Law Firm led the group of French lawyers who represented almost all of the families in public civil and criminal procedures in different jurisdictions. Several legal actions were initiated in France, as well as in the United States, against the airline, the insurance company, the aircraft owner, and its manufacturer. High compensation was obtained in two separate stages, well above what is usually granted by French courts. The procedural strategy selected was key to this conspicuous success. Concomitantly, our lawyers put together a group of experts from different fields of aviation dedicated to discovering the true causes of the crash, since the official investigations were all heading towards different and even contradictory conclusions.
Date: August 20, 2008. Airline: Spanair Flight # JK5022. Aircraft: McDonnell Douglas MD-82. Location: Madrid, Spain. Victims: 153:172.
On August 20, 2008 a Spanair MD87 crashed on take-off at Barajas Airport in Madrid. This crash resulted in 154 deaths and 18 survivors. Our lawyers represented a group of Spanish and French victims’ families in the first stage, an investigation by the court ordered right after the crash, as well as in civil compensation claims. We took an active part in different stages of the investigation, in a protracted effort to ensure that the official version of the accident, claiming pilot error alone, would also include additional factors that our experts believed had contributed to the plane crash. Unfortunately, the criminal proceedings were ultimately shelved by the Spain’s Provincial Court closing the investigation into the primary and systemic causes of the accident. In the meantime, our civil compensation claims in Barcelona were successful, and it was possible to come up with a compensation settlement highly satisfactory to our clients. In 2014, we began representing a new group of clients, victims’ families and survivors in a new remedial action against the airline’s insurance company, this time before the Madrid courts.
Air France (2009)
Date: July 1, 2009. Airline: Air France Flight # 447. Aircraft: Airbus A330-202. Location: Atlantic Ocean off Brazil. Victims: 228:228.
In the early hours of July 1, 2009, an Air France Airbus A300 mysteriously disappeared in the mid-Atlantic while flying between Rio de Janeiro and Paris. Our Law Firm is representing the French Victims’ Association and a group of family members of 40 passengers of different nationalities who died in the accident. After just a year of civil litigation, it was possible to come to an agreement with the insurance companies and bring the compensation proceedings to an end. Though the amount of compensation is confidential, it can be said that the result was highly satisfactory to our clients. At the same time, criminal investigations to determine the causes of the accident and criminal liability that could arise as a result remain ongoing. In 2014 our Law Firm is still representing our clients in these criminal investigations by the Paris courts. According to our experts, who once again oppose the official position holding the pilots to be solely responsible for the accident, there were systemic causes involving both the airline’s operations management and ergonomic and design flaws in various instruments in the cockpit of the plane that was lost.