Continental Airline Held Responsible in Airplane Crash of Concorde

concorde.jpgOver ten years ago, an Air France Concorde jet liner crashed on takeoff from a Paris airport. The crash killed all 113 passengers and four people on the ground. The Concorde was known for its supersonic flight and the jetting of the rich and famous across the Atlantic.

The accident was investigated by a French Court which recently ruled that Continental Airlines was responsible for the airline crash. It found that a fire was caused by a series of mishaps that began when a tire on the Concorde exploded after running over a 16 inch metal strip on the runway. The court found that the metal strip came from a Continental flight which took off minutes before the Concorde. It ruled that a Continental jet mechanic was responsible for attaching the metal strip. Continental Airlines vehemently opposes the ruling.

As an Oakland personal injury lawyer, I am familiar with how airplane accident investigations are conducted. The National Transportation Safety Board investigates airplane crashes in California and throughout the United States. It is not uncommon for investigating agencies to find more than one contributing cause to an accident. Often there may be negligent maintenance issues, defective product issues, and pilot error components to the crash. Under California law, when there are multiple causes of an accident, each negligent party is responsible for the accident.

Therefore, if there is an airplane crash in the State of California, all parties who are found to be negligent are responsible for the wrongful death of any victims of the crash. If the negligence can be apportioned, the non-economic damages for the loss of life will be divided according to the percentage of fault. With regard to economic damages, each negligent party is responsible for all of the financial loss caused regardless of the percentage of fault attributable to that party. The findings in the French Court may cause Continental Airlines to be legally responsible for the wrongful deaths claims brought by heirs in American Courts.


Washington Post, Continental Held Liable in Crash of Concorde, December 7, 2010

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