Florida Judge’s Tam Airbus Case Dismissal Not the End

Florida Judge Turns Back on Tragic Airbus Plane Crash
Miami, August 26, 2009 In Florida court, U. S. District Judge Marcia G. Cooke granted dismissal of the TAM plane crash case in spite of a partial Tam Airbus settlement and significant discovery on behalf of the plaintiffs’ legal team. On the basis of this one Florida judge’s opinion, the cases of all of the foreign plaintiffs were dismissed, as well as that of the U.S. citizen who also lost his life in the plane crash.

On July 17, 2007, Tam Linhas Aereas Flight 3054, a scheduled domestic flight from Porto Alegre Brazil overran the runway at Congonhas International Airport in Sao Paulo Brazil, crashing into a warehouse and fueling station, resulting in the death of 181 passengers, 6 crew members and 12 individuals on the ground. The plane was an Airbus A320, a variant of the same Air France (Flight 447) plane that crashed this summer en route to France, that killed 216 passengers and 12 crew members.

The Brazilian Safety Ministry determined that the plane’s manufacturer, Airbus, should have provided alarms warning the pilots that the braking system was failing; and that TAM failed to properly train its pilots, who did not act correctly in the plane crash emergency. The plane crash was judged to be the result of multiple system failures.

The next step will be an appeal in the Florida courts, according to the law firm of Masry & Vititoe, which explains that “an appeal has a broader scope than a ruling by a single judge.” Masry & Vititoe’s long experience in wrongful death cases is not limited to plane crash cases.
Masry & Vititoe associates Podhurst Orseck will file an appeal in order to continue pursuing the case against Defendants Airbus, Airbus North America Customer Services, Goodrich and IAE International Aero Engines whose products and services played a part in the disaster. The likelihood of the decision’s reversal is increased because the Florida Court of Appeals will want to examine the summary dismissal of a U.S. citizen’s case, as well as the foreign cases attached to it. Masry & Vititoe is optimistic about moving forward to find justice for the plaintiffs.

About Masry and Vititoe
The landmark firm of Masry and Vititoe has a long history of winning cases for victims of wrongful death, negligence, and personal injuries. As in the Hinkley case on which the movie “Erin Brockovich” was based, the firm is known for pursuing the rights of individuals who have suffered injury. They represent thousands of injured persons nationally and internationally; and on their behalf have fearlessly combated and prevailed against some of the world’s largest corporations.

About George Hatcher

These days I am still working with lawyers. I consult in various aspects of personal injury, wrongful death litigation cases, such as Toxic Litigation, Crisis Management and of course, Air Disaster litigation. The lawyers I work with are top quality "Super" lawyer firms (if you will pardon a little industry jargon) whose names you would recognize if I were to drop them here. We deal with issues regarding the cumulation of the investigation of aviation accidents and the judicial process. Concerns include culpability, insurance, liability, safety and the lack thereof . Many of the cases that I work with involve cross-border civil litigation, and include cases such as Air France Flight 447 where locally (as in France) criminalization is also part of the legal mix. The industry is working toward developing a legally defensive safety management system, and still working out processes between air accident investigation and the judiciary which conflict in various courts. I offer my clients my experience and the experience of my experts regarding proceedings in air accidents. How did a guy who is not a lawyer end up running a management consulting firm for lawyers? For decades I was an independant consultant for the Law Offices of Ed Masry, starting with the founder, Edward Masry in 1967. When Masry & Vititoe was formed 32 years ago, I continued consulting in the same capacity. In 1987, I spent a year writing and developing some law firm management programs that even today are still running the office. If the name seems familiar to you, it is because Masry & Vititoe is the law firm portrayed in the Academy Award winning film “Erin Brockovich”. 20 years in two sentences--there's a lot of experience covered in those two lines.
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