Wednesday, 16 Jan 2019

Why did the Lion air crash lead to lawsuits in the United States: QuickTake

While investigators are still trying to figure out why the Indonesian airline Lion Air's 610 flight crashed in October, killing the 189 passengers on board, the aircraft's flight control system was at first. plan. This could make what would otherwise be a simple process to deal with the claims of the families of the victims a much more contentious case. The accident involved an Indonesian airline performing an internal connection with the exception of two people from Indonesia. But the 737 Max 8 aircraft was manufactured by Boeing, a company based in the United States, where courts have always been far more generous to plaintiffs than anywhere else in the world.

1. How will applications be processed in Indonesia?

For a domestic flight like this, between Jakarta and Pangkal Pinang, capital of the province, Indonesian law requires airlines to pay compensation for each death of 1.25 billion rupees (US $ 86,600) . A Lion Air spokesman said that he was adding an additional 50 million rupees per passenger for lost baggage. If any of the passengers traveled as a stop on an international route, their survivors are covered by the 1999 Montreal Convention, which applies to international travel. It requires the carrier to pay up to 113,100 damages in "Special Drawing Rights", a monetary unit created by the International Monetary Fund and currently valued at $ 156,821. The rule applies even if the cause of the accident is unknown.

2. Do Lion Air families have other remedies?

They do it if they are able to establish a legal ground to act outside of Indonesia. If another party, such as a manufacturer of aircraft or components, is no doubt at fault, the victims may sue under the law of normal liability. With questions about the Boeing flight control system raging, several lawsuits have been filed against the company in the United States. This is not unusual. Victims generally prefer to prosecute in the United States where possible because of the favorable law and higher awards that tend to be higher than anywhere else in the world.

3. What did the investigators say?

A preliminary report issued by the Indonesian National Committee for Transport Safety showed that throughout the flight, defective sensors gave incorrect readings to a safety system and that pilots were struggling to prevent them from forcing their noses. the device until the crash. The report also raised questions about pilot actions and how maintenance was done.

4. Is it difficult to prove the cause?

It can be and it can take years. The debate over the causes of the explosion of a supersonic jet Air France Concorde in 2000 has continued for more than a decade.

5. What happens if a plane disappears?

Malaysian air network Bhd made advance payments to families in 2014, shortly after the disappearance of Flight 370 over the Indian Ocean. One of the complications may be the differences in laws from one country to another on what is required to declare a person dead without a body. Nevertheless, in cases where there is evidence that someone was in a plane that crashed or disappeared, most courts may declare a passenger legally dead within a few weeks.

– With the help of Alan Levin.

To contact the reporters on this story: Bob Van Voris in federal court in Manhattan at address, Harry Suhartono in Jakarta at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Heather Smith at, Lisa Beyer

© 2018 Bloomberg L.P.


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