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Estates Sue Airbus for Crash That Killed 228 in Atlantic

HOUSTON (CN) - Inaccurate airspeed readings from defective equipment caused Air France Flight 447 to crash into the Atlantic on June 1 en route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris and kill the 228 people on board, the estates of two passengers claim in Federal Court.

Michael and Anne Harris died in the crash due to the negligence of the plane's owners Societe Air France, its manufacturers Airbus SAS and several other companies that designed and built the plane's defective parts, according to the complaint.

"The subject flight crashed into the Atlantic Ocean ... approximately 680 miles northeast of Brazil in the middle of the ocean," according to the complaint. "All passengers on board the subject aircraft were killed."

New Jersey-based Honeywell International also is named as a defendant, for its production of an allegedly faulty "Air Data and Inertial Reference Unit" in the plane.

Rockwell Collins, a Cedar Rapids, Iowa company, is accused of making a deficient radar system installed in the aircraft.

The French company Thales SA designed faulty pitot tubes, pressure measuring instruments used to determine the airspeed of a plane, which led to the accident, the claimants say.

The estates seek damages for emotional suffering, loss of inheritance and other survivor benefits. They are represented by Richard Mithoff who has his own firm in Houston.

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