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Learjet Crash Blamed on Bad Parts

CHICAGO (CN) - A Bombardier Learjet that crashed approaching Mexico City International Airport was so defective it should not have been in the air, say two pedestrians who were injured in the crash. The Nov. 4, 2008 crash killed Mexico's Interior Minister and 15 others in the plane and on the ground.

Ulrika Bjorkstam and Joseph Dray say the crash was caused by several defects: a faulty horizontal stabilizer actuator, a defective spoiler system and an engine with chafed hydraulic pumps. The engine was also "subject to losing thrust," all of which caused the pilots to lose control of the aircraft, according to the complaint in Cook County Court.

They add that manufacturer Woodward MPC falsely claimed that the stabilizer actuator on the plane was an "upgraded and airworthy new part," when in fact it was "inadequately refurbished."

Bjorkstam and Dray say they were severely injured when the plane went out of control and plummeted to the ground. Everyone aboard was killed, including several Mexican government officials, including Interior Minister Juan Camilo Mourino. The crash in the wealthy Lomas de Chapultepec neighborhood caused a fire in a crowded thoroughfare, injuring 40 and killing at least five people on the ground.

Investigators have determined that the Learjet suffered turbulence because it was following too close to a Boeing 767, which caused the crash, according to recent news reports.

Bjorkstam and Dray demand damages from Bombardier, Woodward MPC, Woodward Governor, General Electric, GE Aviation Systems, Honeywell International and Standard Aero for product liability and breach of warranty. They also allege consumer fraud against Woodward MPC.

Lead counsel in the suit is Floyd Wisner of Wisner Law in St. Charles, Ill.

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