American Connection Flight 5966 Case Settled
- This was the first settlement for any of the passengers on board the Jetstream 32, which crashed and claimed eleven lives.
- In misty conditions with limited visibility, the pilots descended at an excessive rate, violating standard safety procedures and crashing short of the runway.
- Airline management assigned the pilots to a long series of flights close to the regulatory maximum, and the pilots were likely fatigued.
American Connection, Kirksville Crash First Settlement: Kreindler & Kreindler LLP reached a settlement with the liability insurer of American Airlines and Corporate Airlines one year after the crash of their plane near Kirksville, Missouri. The crash, involving a Jetstream 32 twin-engine turboprop operated as American Connection Flight 5966, crashed near the Kirksville, Missouri airport on October 19, 2004, taking the life of Steven Z. Miller, M.D., a passenger. Dr. Miller’s widow and three minor children received court approval for the settlement a few months after the settlement was negotiated.
Kreindler’s counsel, Milton G. Sincoff, represented the Miller family, prepared the case and negotiated the settlement with Global Aerospace executives. This was the first settlement for any of the passengers on board the aircraft, which claimed the lives of 11 and left 2 survivors.
Dr. Miller was age 46 and survived by his wife and their three children, ages 12, 10 and 7. Dr. Miller was director of pediatric emergency medicine and director of student medical education at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital and Medical School in New York City. Dr. Miller had a brilliant future with the potential to become a medical school dean.
The liability for negligence was strong. During the landing approach at night in misty conditions with limited, but adequate visibility, the pilots descended at excessive rates, violated standard safety procedures, and crashed approximately a mile short of the runway. Airline management assigned the pilots to a long series of flights close to the regulatory maximum. At the end of three days and nights, the pilots were likely fatigued.
Kreindler, for Mrs. Miller, as administratrix, commenced suit in the U.S. Southern District of New York. The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation then transferred the action to join all others in the Eastern District of Missouri. Miller’s action was later returned to the Southern District to conclude the settlement. Miller v. American, 05 CV 7637 (WHP).
Photo Credit: Jetstream 32 plane, Kuba Bożanowski