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U.S. lawsuit filed against Airbus for July air crash


NEW YORK—A lawsuit has been filed in the United States against Airbus Leasing II Inc. on behalf of victims of the July 9 S7 Airlines crash in which 159 passengers were injured or killed.

The Siberian-operated Airbus A310-324, operated by S7 Airlines and traveling from Moscow to Irkutsk, crashed into a building after landing and burst into flames killing 129 of the aircraft's passengers and crew.

Steven Marks, an attorney with Miami-based law firm Podhurst Orseck P.A., filed suit in the United States District Court of the Southern District of New York and said in a statement that he expects additional plaintiffs to join the action.

Airbus Leasing —an affiliate of aircraft manufacturer Airbus, itself a unit of European Aeronautic Defense & Space Co. — has operations in Virginia, enabling the law firm to file suit in the United States.

Airbus Leasing owns the aircraft and is "legally liable for the negligence of its operation," said Mr. Marks in the statement.

The lawsuit contends that S7, which formerly was known as Sibir Airlines, failed to carry out several safety procedures and knowingly allowed the plane to fly with an inoperative thrust reverser, among other breaches.

The suit seeks personal injury damages for survivors and victims of the crash and compensation for the families of those who died.

Mr. Marks said in the statement that the airline has about $300 million of insurance coverage, but he argues that insurers' exposure could rise.

After the crash, S7 said in a statement that all passengers were insured, under a Russian law that makes insurance mandatory, by UralSib Insurance Group, a unit of Russian financial group UralSib Financial Corp.

In addition, according to S7, the airline had third-party passenger, freight, baggage and civil liability insurance, provided by Ingosstrakh Insurance Co.

In London, insurance coverage for the plane was led by the MSF Pritchard syndicate 318 at Lloyd's of London, sources said, and was spread in the Lloyd's and London company market.