The Asiana Air crash at San Francisco Airport has seen aviation law specialists at Condon & Forsyth representing the Korean airline in a crash that killed two people and injured many others.
Condon & Forsyth has offices in New York and Los Angeles and has significant aviation law expertise, including representing American Airlines after the September 11 attacks, as reported by the WSJ Law blog.
The firm is helping Asiana comply with U.S. federal investigators on the scene, and with its legal duties to assist passengers and family members, said Frank Silane, the primary attorney on the case and a partner in the firm.Mr. Silane, who represented American Airlines when its flight to the Dominican Republic crashed in Queens just two months after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, said the firm has represented Asiana on various, routine compliance issues since at least the 1990s.
Since 2003, the method of compensating victims of international airline crashes is governed by the Montreal Convention, which says airlines are liable for as much as around $150,000 in damages per injured passenger. Passengers and families can sue the airline for more if they can prove the airline was at fault. The treaty also governs where passengers can file claims against an airline based on where they reside, where they purchased tickets and their final destination. That could make for a complicated legal situation, since Asiana’s passengers on the San Francisco flight were a mix of Americans, Koreans and Chinese.
Though there is much speculation about whether and in which country passengers will be able to file lawsuits against the airline, Mr. Silane said the company is right now focused on assisting families and investigators.
Asiana’s public statements about the whether the jet engines were working properly, the condition of other aircraft systems and personnel details have sparked the ire of safety investigators who typically do not want an airline releasing such statements during an investigation.
More news on the Asiana air crash will be forthcoming as matters develop.