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Asiana Passengers Sue Boeing

(CRI Online)

13:32, July 18, 2013

A Chinese lawyer is now consulting the families of the three Chinese teenagers killed in the crash landing of the Asiana Airlines flight in San Francisco earlier this month. CRI's Xie Zhao has more.

A total of 141 Chinese were among the 291 passengers aboard when the Asiana Airlines Flight made a crash landing at the San Francisco International Airport on July 6th.

Speculations are mounting on whether these Chinese victims can file a law suit in the US, where they are likely to get millions of dollars of compensation, much more than that in their homeland.

Zhang Qihuai is a lawyer with the Beijing-based Lanpeng Law firm and Secretary General of Beijing Municipal Lawyers Association.

He says the Chinese victims would be eligible to sue the airline or Boeing either in China, South Korea or the US.

"The Montreal Convention has issued regulations and rules regarding international transportation. China, U.S and South Korea are all the contracting parties."

Zhang is now working as legal consultant to the families of the 3 girls who died in the crash, as invited by the local government where the casualties came from.

Meanwhile Ribbeck Law Chartered, a Chicago law firm has taken steps to sue aircraft manufacturer Boeing, on behalf of 83 passengers, mostly Chinese, from the flight that crash-landed in San Francisco.

Monica Kelly, is a lawyer from the company.

She says the company wants to protect evidence as soon as possible.

"We filed it against Boeing seeking to identify the different component parts of the manufacturers. For example with the seat belts, that would be another party that is liable. And there all component parts of the plane made by Boeing. Boeing is the one who authorizes which company needs to make what for the plane."

Zhang Qihuai highlights it is not important at this point whether it is the airline company or Boeing to be sued, but where the suit is filed.

He explains that the amount of compensation is mostly decided by the country's personal income in the previous year.

"So given the fact that the per capita income in the US is much higher than that in China, the compensation for these 3 girls might be about 100 million yuan in China according to the Chinese law, while the number might exceed ten million U.S dollars if the suit is filed in the US."

The lawyer adds that currently he is working on a best compensation plan for the victims, and in which country the families of the 3 casualties would file their lawsuits is yet to be decided.

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