Monday, July 14, 2008

Thai airline to be sued in US for crash

Bangkok - Relatives of people who died when a no-frills Thai airline crashed last September are poised to sue for 400 million dollars in compensation in the United States, reports said Saturday. The families have also asked Thai authorities to file criminal charges against the chief executive and founder of One-Two-Go, said the Bangkok Post.

One-Two-Go's MD-82 jetliner crashed on September 16 last year when attempting to land on the vacation island of Phuket in heavy rain and strong winds, leaving 89 dead and 41 injured.

Manuel Von Ribbeck, of Ribbeck Law Chartered, a Chicago law firm representing many of the foreign victims' relatives, urged the Thai authorities to release their investigation into the crash to throw light on the reasons for the crash. A preliminary official enquiry blamed pilot error.

Ribbeck, coordinating a string of lawsuits against the carrier in the United States and the United Kingdom, is also taking legal action against the airline's London insurance agent which it claims has treated the case in a high-handed and callous manner.

Udom, the airline's founder, told the Bangkok Post that the law firm was a specialised law outfit merely out to generate fees for itself and that it was leaving the fight to its insurance companies to fight legal actions. The airline and its insurance firm are represented by the international law firm Clyde & Co.

Relatives of Thai victims have accepted 150,000 dollars in initial compensation for each victim.

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