A US lawyer is suing everyone who made anything that was part of the Air France Airbus A330-200, flight AF447 that crashed into the mid Atlantic on June 1 and killed all 228 people on board.
The responses of the parties to the US action quoted in the Reuters report need to be considered carefully. The Cook County, Illinois action cannot however be completely dismissed out of hand. Actions against airlines involved in accidents outside the US have in the past yielded some dividends, including a Californian action against Thai International related to the disastrous flight of one of its A310 jets at full speed into the Himalayan foothills after a missed approach at Kathmandu on July 31, 1992 killing all 113 people on board.
The court documents tendered in that hearing established beyond doubt the unprofessional actions of the flight crew in ignoring go around procedures, and forced into the public domain negative disclosures about the accident and compelled Thai International to acknowledge its responsibility under international law for the actions of its pilots and the maintenance of flight standards.
The more relevant legal process currently under way in relation to AF447 is the one by which an examining magistrate in Paris is establishing potential legal responsibilities arising from the deaths of passengers and crew domiciled in France.
This is a process that Air France, Airbus and Thales, the maker of the external speed measuring pitots on that jet are clearly taking very seriously. The Thales pitots have since been removed in large measure from all Airbus A330 and A340 jets world wide under the terms of a compulsory airworthiness directive.
Qantas A330s were never equipped with Thales pitots.