Personal Injury

Asiana Airlines Flight 214 Crash

Issue: Pilot and auto-pilot control design errors

On July 6, 2013, Asiana Airlines flight 214 from Seoul, South Korea, crashed while landing at San Francisco International Airport.

Many passengers escaped from the burning Boeing 777 aircraft by jumping down the emergency inflatable slides to safety. Tragically, two people were killed. Of the 182 people transported to area hospitals, as many as 49 arrived in critical condition, and one passenger subsequently died.

Asiana flight 214 originated in Shanghai before heading to Seoul and then San Francisco. John Martin, director of the San Francisco airport, provided a breakdown of the passengers’ nationalities: 141 were from China, 77 were from South Korea, 61 had U.S. citizenship, one was from Japan, and eleven came from other countries.

What should have been a routine landing became a fatal catastrophe when Asiana airplane’s speed dropped below the minimum speed necessary to safely approach the runway.

Lieff Cabraser is representing multiple passengers severely injured in the Asiana crash in a lawsuit filed in federal court in San Francisco against Asiana Airlines and the Boeing Company. The complaint charges that the accident was the result of the failure of the pilot and flight crew to follow well-established cockpit and landing protocols, combined with deficient training. The pilot and flight crew had set the airspeed of the aircraft at the required level of 137 knots, and assumed the auto-throttle control system would maintain this speed. They became aware of the plane’s actual speed only seconds before the crash, and did not realize that the auto-throttle control system was not engaged.

The complaint further alleges that Boeing was negligent in the design of its low airspeed warning system as its 777 aircraft lacks a repeated aural warning of “Low Speed” found in other Boeing aircraft.

Achieving justice for airplane accident victims

We offer our deepest sympathies to the families of the three passengers who died in the Asiana SFO crash. We appreciate that now is a time of deep pain for these families. For those who survived the accident but were severely injured, the highest priority is receiving medical care. We hope all those who survived the Asiana crash will soon begin their physical and emotional recovery.

With time, those injured or killed, and their families, will have questions concerning the legal duties of Asiana Airlines and Boeing to the passengers of Flight 214, and how they can hold Asiana Airlines and Boeing accountable for their injuries under U.S. aviation law. Passengers will want to know how they can obtain just compensation for their injuries, including damages for their pain and suffering, lost wages, and present and future medical expenses.

Lieff Cabraser’s nationally-recognized injury attorneys understand that representing victims and families in airplane disaster cases requires sensitivity and compassion. Our experienced aviation accident attorneys in our main office in San Francisco can answer questions free of charge and without any obligation on the part of survivors or the families of those who were killed. We have repeatedly secured substantial recoveries for victims of aviation disasters and their families.

Passionate, principled advocacy

Our attorneys are committed to upholding the rights of aviation disaster victims and promoting aviation safety. Our attorneys work as a team, drawing upon their combined knowledge, training, and skills to provide our clients with decades of experience in the field of aviation law.

With each case we take on, we seek not only to represent our clients, but also to bring about change in the aviation industry. Airlines, airports, airplane manufacturers, and governmental agencies have the duty to protect the safety and security of passengers. We are committed to representing the interests of victims in aviation disasters and to ensuring that passenger safety and security is the aviation industry’s number one priority.

Experienced aviation attorneys

Our aviation attorneys have over forty years of experience litigating aircraft accident cases. We represent passengers and persons on the ground injured in aircraft accidents, and the families of loved ones who perished.

We have affiliations with internationally-renowned aviation safety, airport design and operations, and disaster reconstruction experts to assist in the investigation of cases and provide expert analysis of aviation incidents.

The resources to hold the powerful accountable

Our legal skills, along with our ability to advance the costs in our clients’ cases, enable us to take on the most powerful corporations in the world and the large defense firms that represent them. We have successfully litigated against many of the world’s largest commercial airlines and aircraft manufacturers, including Boeing and Airbus.

For example, we represented the families of passengers who were on Aeroflot-Russian International Airlines flight that crashed in Siberia. The plane was en route from Moscow to Hong Kong, with many passengers who were residents of Hong Kong, Taiwan and other Asian nations. All passengers on board died. The families Lieff Cabraser represented obtained substantial recoveries in the settlement of the case.