Family Of Thai Politician Filed Suit Friday
Claiming design and
manufacturing flaws caused the December 11, 1998, Thai Airways
crash of a A310-200, the family of a Thai politician who perished
in the accident filed suit Friday against the plane's manufacturer,
Airbus, reported the Associated Press.
The family of Tawat Wichaidit, who was a member of the Thai
Parliament, is asking the Bangkok Civil Court to award them
compensation and damages of $3.13 million for negligence, lost
income, and mental stress, said their lawyer.
The flight from Bangkok crashed in a swamp when making its third
approach after two aborted landing attempts in heavy evening rain.
In addition to Thai passengers, US, Austria, Britain, Finland,
Germany, Japan and Norway citizens also died in the crash.
A November 12, 2007, court hearing will determine whether the
court will accept the case for trial.
Wichaidit was one of 101 people who died when the Airbus
A310-200, operated by Thai International Airways, crashed near
Surat Thani airport, 330 miles south of Bangkok, according to UPI.
Forty-five people survived.
The lawsuit against Airbus claims that the plane was designed
and manufactured "without the exercise of perception and
carefulness as should (be) expected."
"It could lead the airplane into a stall condition in some
situations, and if by chance there was the fault of the electrical
system occurring at that time, then it would cause the airplane to
crash," it said.
In response to reports of the lawsuit, Airbus spokeswoman Marie
Caujolle said, "The accident has been thoroughly investigated by
the Thai authorities as well as the French Accident Investigation
Bureau and the American NTSB, as per ICAO (International Civil
Aviation Organization) recommendations."
"We have nothing to add to this exhaustive report, which was
published several years ago, and will not comment further."
The Thai government has
never publicized any official findings it may have made about the
cause of the crash.
About a year following the investigation, Thai aviation
officials said equipment had malfunctioned on the plane,
contributing to the accident, said UPI. However, an Airbus
spokesman said at the time that the panel of inquiry had not
informed the company of any fault with the aircraft.
Other possible explanations for the crash have also been leaked
to the press, including pilot error.