Kreindler's Steve Pounian Leads Plaintiffs in American Airlines Flight 587 Crash Trial
- Kreindler’s Steve Pounian argued the issues on behalf of all plaintiffs of the American Airlines Flight 587 crash.
- Federal Judge Robert W. Sweet ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, finding a claim for punitive damages and agreed that the accident was governed by maritime law.
Federal Judge Robert W. Sweet ruled in favor of the plaintiffs on the crucial question of what laws apply to their claims in the cases arising from the crash of an Airbus aircraft, operated as American Airlines Flight 587, in Belle Harbor, New York, on November 12, 2001.
Kreindler’s Steven Pounian took the lead in briefing and arguing the issues on behalf of all the plaintiffs. Importantly, Judge Sweet decided to apply New York law to the punitive damages claims of ground victims against defendant Airbus. The effect of the ruling is that a claim for punitive damages by the ground victims may also be asserted against American Airlines under New York law. The court also ruled that additional factual determinations are required before the Court decides whether French law applies to the passengers’ punitive damage claims against Airbus.
Deciding a complex issue that was left open by the U.S. Supreme Court, Judge Sweet agreed with Mr. Pounian, our appellate experts, that this crash was governed by maritime law because the point at which the flight was doomed occurred over navigable waters, when the vertical fin ripped off the Airbus 300. Judge Sweet also agreed with Kreindler attorney Blanca Rodriguez’s legal brief that maritime law allows recovery for loss of love, care and companionship, and can be supplemented by more generous state law. Defendants’ arguments were rejected. Mr. Pounian and Ms. Rodriguez argued the motions before the Court.
Kreindler’s Steve Pounian served as Chairman of the American 587 Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee (PEC), and Kreindler’s Rob Spragg and Partner Dan Rose also worked on the case for Kreindler & Kreindler.
All Cases Resolved
By 2008, Pounian, Rose and Spragg successfully prosecuted all claims against American Airlines and Airbus over a period of 7 years, which resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation for the families.