In Dallas Federal Court, Passengers of AA Flight That Crash-Landed in Jamaica in '09 File Suit

Perhaps you recall: On the night of December 22, 2009, American Airlines Flight 331 crash-landed in Kingston, Jamaica. The Boeing 737-800, inbound from Miami during a storm, overshot the runaway and came within feet of sinking in the Caribbean. The feds told Channel 8 that "the plane may have been landing with the wind behind it -- a tricky maneuver even for an experienced pilot."

The next morning, the headlines read: "154 Lucky to Be Alive After American Airlines Jet Crashes at Jamaica Airport." And: "'Panic' as jet overshoots runway in Jamaica." Initial reports said 40 passengers were taken to the hospital; later accounts put that figure closer to 90. Some had broken bones; others were badly banged up. An initial investigation into the crash said the crew "chose a more difficult approach for landing and then overshot its runway," according to The Dallas Morning News's account in January 2010; at year's end, the Jamaican Civil Aviation Authority said the brakes appeared to be just fine, and that "the rate of deceleration appears normal for a wet runway." A final report is said to be finished and in the hands of U.S. officials, but it has not yet been released.

In the meantime, there is an American Airlines 331 crash victim and support group on Facebook, the reason being: "This is a group of people which include the victims of this horrendous crash and their families and friends...Many of the victims are still traumatized, but are grateful for their lives being saved." Now, there is this: Yesterday in Dallas federal court, 20 passengers and spouses sued American Airlines, insisting the Fort Worth-based carrier's "negligence, disregard for passenger safety, and failure to oversee that its agents safely transport passengers proximately caused the accident and Plaintiffs' injuries." Similar suits have been filed in Miami, including one in July.

The latest follows in full.

Passengers of Flight 331 v American AIrlines

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky