Associated Retired Aviation Professionals

         Boeing settles lawsuits
                   52 of 175 suits related to TWA Flight 800 crash are now settled

                   August 7, 2000: 10:45 p.m. ET

                  SEATTLE (Reuters) - Boeing Co. has settled 52 of 175 lawsuits brought by
                  families of passengers who died when TWA Flight 800 exploded off the New
                  York coast in July 1996, a plaintiffs' attorney said on Monday.

                  Lee Kreindler, lead plaintiffs' lawyer in the litigation, declined to specify the
                  settlement amounts despite a news report quoting another lawyer pegging
                  some at several million dollars.

                  Kreindler's firm is handling 85 cases, of which 32 have been settled.

                   "Right now we're all settling cases pretty quickly," Kreindler said. "We're
                  moving forward rapidly."

                  Boeing (BA: Research, Estimates) spokeswoman Liz Verdier
                  confirmed that settlements had accelerated since the judge
                  presiding over the case ordered plaintiffs' attorneys to release
                  information on the victims that would help determine what kind of
                  awards to offer.

                  "We needed some data on the victims so we would know what would be a good
                  settlement to offer. If someone left a family behind, that's going to be
                  significant," Verdier said.

                   Verdier said Boeing officials hoped to settle more cases soon.

                   Trans World Airways Inc. (TWA: Research, Estimates) Flight 800 bound for
                  Paris exploded in a massive fireball that killed all 230 people on board the
                  Boeing 747 after fumes in its center fuel tank ignited.

                  Investigators have focused on frayed wiring on some older jets that may have
                  triggered the explosion.

                   In March, a federal appeals court in New York upheld a ruling allowing plaintiffs
                  to seek significantly higher damages against TWA and Boeing. The appeals
                  court later denied the defendants' request for a rehearing of the case.

                   In its ruling the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a 1998 trial court
                  finding that the crash occurred in waters controlled by the United States and
                  not in international waters known as the "high seas."

                  That finding permitted the families to make claims for punitive and emotional

                   Defendants in the case, TWA, Boeing and its contractor Hydro-Aire, Inc., a
                  division of Crane Co., had argued that the "Death on the High Seas Act" should

                   That act allows recovery only on monetary losses such as a victim's salary or
                  potential earning ability. It does not allow for punitive damages or such claims
                  as a survivor's grief and any pre-death pain and suffering by the victims. 
                  Victims' families settled 11 lawsuits in 1998. 

Copyright 2000 Reuters All rights reserved. 

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