Air France Settles Claims Over Runway Accident

     (CN) – A Canadian judge approved Air France’s proposed $11.4 million settlement with 184 passengers on an Air France jet that overshot a Toronto airport runway in 2005 and burst into flames.




     Air France agreed to pay $10 million Canadian dollars plus interest for the release of all class-action claims stemming from the accident.
     Airplane manufacturer Airbus S.A.S. and the maker of the plane’s evacuation equipment, Goodrich Corp., will additionally pay $1.65 million Canadian dollars to release claims against them, according to a filing in Ontario Superior Court.
     On Aug. 2, 2005, Air France Flight 358 was traveling from Paris to Toronto with 297 passengers and 12 crew members when it overshot the runway at Pearson International Airport during a thunderstorm, crashing into a ravine and bursting into flames.
     All passengers and crew members survived, but some passengers suffered injuries, including emotional distress, the ruling states. More than 30 passengers went to the hospital.
     The Airbus A340 aircraft was equipped with eight Goodrich evacuation slides, three of which were punctured or torn, according to the ruling.
     “Approximately 60 of the passengers were forced to jump from the aircraft due to the lack of functional evacuation slides,” Justice Joan Lax wrote.
     One exit door failed to open, forcing passengers out other doors, the ruling states.
     “The settlements with Air France, Airbus and Goodrich are approved as fair, reasonable and in the best interests of the class,” Lax said.
     The judge said that the class reached a settlement in principle with the Greater Toronto Airports Authority for $2 million Canadian dollars.

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