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US court rules that passengers can sue Boeing over Emirates EK521 crash

US court rules that passengers can sue Boeing over Emirates EK521 crash

All the 300 passengers onboard the Boeing 777 aircraft survived the accident on August 3, 2016

A court in the US has ruled that passengers onboard the Emirates flight EK521 that crashed-landed in Dubai in 2016, can sue planemaker Boeing.

The plane, which was flying from the Indian city of Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala, caught fire after skidding along the Dubai airport runway on its fuselage.

All the 300 passengers on the Boeing 777 aircraft survived the accident on August 3, although 30 were hospitalised.

An Emirati firefighter, 27-year-old Jassim Al Baloushi, was killed after the fuel tank exploded in the ensuing blaze.

A lawsuit was filed against Boeing in Cook Country, Chicago last year, claiming that the accident was caused by a fault in the aircraft’s design.

At least 15 passengers are believed to be part of the case, The National reported.

US-based aviation specialists Wisner Law and London-based Stewarts are representing them.

Wisner Law said it was suing Boeing for physical and psychological injuries sustained by passengers during the crash landing.

Read more: Passengers sue Boeing for injuries sustained during Emirates crash landing in Dubai

While Boeing contested that the case should be heard in a UAE court, the US court has now ruled that the passengers have the right to sue in the US.

“Our clients are not critical of Emirates and feel that the crew performed heroically,” The National quoted Stewarts partner Peeter Neenan as saying.

“Their claim is against Boeing for a switch that, without warning, did not function as expected.”

According to the lawyers, a switch used by pilots to assist in what is known as a “go around” was defective in design and deactivated, depriving the engines of enough power to regain height.

A preliminary report released by the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) found that “analysis of the data downloaded indicates that there were no aircraft systems or engine abnormalities up to the time of the accident.”

However, the complete investigation is not expected before 2019.

Read more: Emirates crash investigation: No ‘engine abnormalities’

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