Concorde crash: Continental Airlines found guilty of involuntary manslaughter

December 14, 2010 at 9:10 am | Posted in Aviation Law Current Event | Leave a comment

by Sara M. Langston with the blog faculty


PONTOISE, France  — A French court found Continental Airlines and a mechanic at the airline guilty on Monday of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the 2000 Concorde crash that killed 113 people.

The accident led to the supersonic airliner being grounded for good.

Continental pledged to appeal and branded the verdict as “absurd,” saying it showed the  French authorities’ determination to shift the blame from Air France, which operated the jet and was owned by the French government at the time.

The court in the Paris suburb of Pontoise ruled that the Houston-based airline must pay 1.08 million euros ($1.43 million) to Air France for moral damages and damages to its reputation.

It also fined Continental 200,000 euros ($265,000) and one of its mechanics, John Taylor, was fined 2,000 euros ($2,650). Taylor was further handed a 15-month suspended prison sentence.

All other defendants, including Taylor’s now-retired supervisor Stanley Ford and three French aviation officials, were acquitted.

The verdict exposes Continental to claims that could run to tens of millions of dollars…[full story]

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