An out-of-court settlement with Boeing and Rolls-Royce has been agreed by 65 passengers and crew of a British Airways flight which crash landed at Heathrow in 2008 to end US litigation.
The claimants were seeking as much as $65 million in the US courts, but the confidential settlement is less than $10 million, the Financial Times reported, citing people familiar with the agreement.
The Boeing 777 accident at Heathrow occurred in January 2008 in the final approach of a flight from Beijing after ice clogged the fuel flow to both engines of the aircraft.
The incident sparked investigations in both the UK and the US, which led to changes in operating procedures for 777s powered by Rolls-Royce engines.
All 136 passengers and 16 crew survived, and the BA pilots were widely seen to have averted a much worse catastrophe – the engines failed when the aircraft was 600ft above west London. The airline was not sued by the claimants.
“It was fortunate that there were no fatalities here,” said James Healy-Pratt, a solicitor at Stewarts Law, which was representing the claimants with Wisner, a Chicago-based law firm.
“The faulty part of the Boeing 777 has now been redesigned. We hope that Boeing, Rolls-Royce and other manufacturers will use this case as a warning to ensure that all of their flight systems are 100% safe for passengers and crew on board flights everywhere,” he told the newspaper.
Rolls-Royce and BA declined to comment. Boeing said: “We can confirm there were disputed claims that were resolved on terms acceptable to all parties. There was no admission of liability.”
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