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8 flight attendants sue Asiana Airlines over San Francisco crash-landing

Eight cabin crew members who were on board the Asiana Airline Flight 214 Boeing 777-200ER that crash-landed at San Francisco International Airport in 2013 were revealed to have filed damage suits against Korea’s second largest carrier and the plane manufacturer Boeing.

The eight were among 12 flight attendants aboard at the time and filed the suits in a U.S. district court rather than in Seoul. 

According to reports, one of workers had her backbone broken in the accident and filed a suit in January 2014, followed by five others in December and the final two in mid-June. Yonhap News reported that the eight have been on sick leave.

Among the other four present at the accident, one left the company while another is taking temporary leave. The remaining two have returned to their duties.

The plaintiffs are expected to be joined by around 200 people who have filed more than 50 separate cases in regards to the accident. The Californian jurisdiction said it will merge the case into one for efficiency.

The accident took place on July 6, 2013 when the plane clipped a sea wall and slammed into a runway, leaving three dead and another 187 injured among the 307 passengers and cabin crew.

The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board cited the pilots’ mismanagement of automated aviation systems and the plane’s excessively complicated key flight system as the cause.  

The reason for the “flood” of litigations -- though many are believed to be in negotiations with Asiana -- is due to the Montreal Convention setting the statute of limitations to two years for the accident, Yonhap said. If the negotiations go awry and the victims miss the deadline, they could be left without compensation, based on the treaty.

In June, 27 Korean, 25 Chinese and one Indian national who resides in Korea filed a class action lawsuit against Asiana over the accident in a Seoul court.

Asiana has said it has been sincerely committed to the talks with the victims.

By Bae Ji-sook (