Asiana Airlines, the company whose plane crashed while landing at the San Francisco International Airport last month, has denied all responsibility for the crash that killed three people and injured hundreds more. The airline also said the it was going to pay the passengers $10,000 each.
Not only has Asiana denied responsibility, but the company has the awful audacity to blame the passengers for sustaining their own injuries. The statement has naturally caused quite a bit of outrage, especially among attorneys. Walnut Creek attorney Michael Verna said that he was “astounded that Asiana would blame the passengers for its gross negligence in not being able to safely land this aircraft.”
Verna continued by saying “The very first filing in the very first lawsuit in this case in a public courtroom is to blame the passengers for causing the accident. I’m not only astounded; I’m incensed.”
It is incensing that Asiana would even have the mind to make such a treacherous statement. Does the company not realize that when transporting hundreds of people, it assumes the responsibility of those passengers who chose, and paid money, to use their services? This isn’t the only occasion of questionable operation within the Korea-based airline. It has been noted that Asiana has not properly maintained a “steady flow of crash-related information emanating from . . . the National Transportation Safety Board,” among other similar groups.
Because Asiana is based out of South Korea, the legality of filing a claim against the airline company is a bit murky, as not all passengers are outright protected by the law. The Montreal Convention, an international treaty, doesn’t afford foreign passengers the right to file suit against Asiana in America. However, Americans can. That’s where many have speculated as to the reason behind the $10,000 pay out, a business/PR move.
San Francisco Bay Area attorney Gerald Sterns said that “Asiana has to make a business decision. . . . Do we ignore these people or give them some relief to make them go away?”