$12 Million Settlement Agreement Approved in Air France Landing Mishap

A  $12 million class action settlement has been approved by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in relation to an August 2005 incident where Air France flight 358 overshot the landing strip causing the aircraft to skid into a  ravine where it burst into flames. The plane was carrying 297 passengers onboard plus a crew of 12.

The flight had originated from Paris and encountered a severe thunderstorm upon landing at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport. Of all those onboard,  184 joined the class action settlement as many  others  either settled independently with Air France, or commenced separate actions.

No fatalities were reported, however 60 passengers were forced to jump from the plane as the evacuation slides failed to function properly. As a result, 33 passengers were taken to hospital, 23 with severe injuries.

Air France has agreed to pay out $1o million dollars into a class fund in exchange for a release from all further claims arising from the incident. In addition, Airbus and Goodrich, the manufacturer of the evacuation slide agreed to pay $1.65 million for same. The Greater Toronto Airport Authority is expected to contribute $2 million dollars as well. NAV Canada, the company responsible for air traffic control  refused to settle, and a such, litigation against it will proceed.

Minimum payments between $5,000 and $10,000 will be awarded to claimants who did not suffer severe damages. Those who suffered serious physical and/or psychological damages will be awarded up to $175,000 dollars. Legal fees are estimated to be at $500,000 with the remainder to be apportioned accordingly. Class members are expected to receive their compensation no later than March 2010.

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