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FL Fed’l Suit Over Brazilian Plane Crash

Posted Jul 31, 2007 1:59 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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A federal lawsuit filed in Florida is reportedly the first litigation over a July 17 airline crash in Sao Paulo that killed 199 people in the worst aviation disaster in Brazil's history.

The suit was filed on behalf of Ricardo Tazoe, a 35-year-old Peruvian who worked for a Miami bank and died in the fiery crash after an Airbus A320 skidded off a rainy Sao Paolo runway and into a building. It contends that TAM Linhas Aereas, a Brazilian carrier, was negligent in allowing a plane that it knew had mechanical problems to fly, and alleges that pilot error contributed to the problem, according to Reuters and CBS Broadcasting.

"From the evidence gathered so far, it's clear that TAM knew there were problems with the aircraft," says attorney Steven C. Marks of Ft. Lauderdale's Podhurst Orseck, in a news release. "The plane's right thrust reverser had been deactivated before the flight. The thrust reverser is used to slow the jet down upon landing and had it been operational, it may have prevented this accident."

The complaint, provided by CBS, also names as defendants manufacturers of the plane and engine and braking system, as well as a company responsible for maintaining its thrust reversers. It says that all of these companies did business in Florida on a regular basis.

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