Now Boeing Is Getting Sued?


Ribbeck Law Chartered, a Chicago law firm, is in the early stages of bringing a lawsuit against Boeing Co. (NYSE:BA) on behalf of 83 people who were aboard the Boeing 777 that crashed at San Francisco International Airport on July 6. The court filing claims that the Asiana Airlines plane might have been caused by a mechanical malfunction of the 777′s auto throttle.

On Monday, the law firm filed a petition for discovery in Cook County Circuit Court in Chicago, where Boeing has its headquarters. The petition is a move meant to preserve evidence and Ribbeck says that additional pleadings will be filed against Asiana Airlines and several component parts manufacturers in the coming days related to the crash.

According to Ribbeck, the suit is not aimed solely at the crash itself, but the evacuation too. The law firm says that emergency slides opened inside the plane after the crash, resulting in injured passengers and blocked exits. Furthermore, some passengers had to be cut out of their seat belts with knives.

Monica R. Kelly, head of Ribbeck’s aviation department, said, ‘‘We must find the causes of the crash and demand that the problems with the airline and the aircraft are immediately resolved to avoid future tragedies.”

Ribbeck’s petition calls for Boeing to identify the source of manufacturing parts used in the airplanes autothrottle along with its emergency slides. Of the eight emergency slides aboard the 777, two malfunctioned causing them to open inside the cabin — two flight attendants were pinned underneath.

The firm would also like more information on the computer systems, which indicated the airplane’s glide slope and warnings of whether the 777 was too close to the ground. The petition for discovery is to make sure that Boeing does not destroy any of the wreckage through testing. Ribbeck has called for maintenance records, internal memos, and other evidence.

John Dern, Boeing’s spokesman, said the company has no comment.

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