Cook County Record

Friday, August 23, 2019

Passengers file negligence suit over plane fire

By Bethany Krajelis | Jul 16, 2013

Nine passengers on a May 24 flight from London to Oslo have sued a trio of corporations over a fire that forced their plane to make an emergency landing.

The plaintiffs -- Alexandra Townsley, Iona Townsley, Bjorg Nilsson, Tim Muelenbach, Gard Haugen, Jean Knox, Dejan Borisavljevic, Carolina Djatmiko and Stefan Eckl –filed their suit July 9 in the Cook County Circuit Court.

It names Airbus S.A.S., IAE International Aero Engines AG (IAE) and JetPower Inc. as defendants.

All of the plaintiffs live outside of the United States and JetPower is the only defendant with its principal place of business in Illinois. Airbus’ principal place of business is in France and IAE’s is located in Connecticut, the suit states.

The four-count complaint accuses the defendant corporations of defectively and negligently designing, manufacturing, assembling, inspecting, testing and selling parts on the plane, as well as breaching their duty to the plaintiffs to exercise reasonable care in their work as to not cause injury.

According to the suit, the nine plaintiffs were passengers on a May 24 British Airways flight when the cowls of the A319-313 aircraft’s engines “became detached and punctured a fuel pipe for the right engine, causing a fire in that engine.”

The flight crew tried to control the fire by cutting off the flow of fuel to the engine, but the aircraft’s system overrode the cut off and continued to pump fuel, causing the fire to burn on, the suit states.

As a result of the fire that the suit asserts was the result of the aircraft’s defective and unreasonably dangerous conditions, the plane had to make an emergency landing at London’s Heathrow airport.

The plaintiffs contend the defendants “negligently failed to warn of these defective and unreasonably dangerous conditions, despite having knowledge of 32 incidents as of July 2012 of cowl doors becoming detached engines.

They further assert they “suffered serious injuries, both physical and psychological in nature, and sustained and will sustain in the future, medical bills, lost earnings, disability, pain and suffering and emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.”

The suit seeks a judgment against each of the three defendants for more than the court’s jurisdictional amount, together with costs and other damages as allowed by law.

Floyd A. Wisner of Wisner Law Firm in St. Charles filed the suit for the plaintiffs.

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