Caribbean Airlines Crash Court case will be heard in New York – 4th Jul 2013
Passengers who were on the crashed Caribbean Airlines flight at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport two years ago, will have their day in court, but in New York. At least two passengers, Kusmatie and Rajendra Persaud had sued the airline in Florida and another one, Nandine Persaud, sued in New York. But attorneys for Caribbean Airlines asked the court to centralize the hearings in the Eastern District in New York.
When civil actions involving one or more common questions of fact are pending in different districts in the US, they can be transferred to any district for coordinated or consolidated pretrial proceedings.
In this case, the panel found that the three actions involved such common questions of fact, and that centralization in the Eastern District of New York will serve the convenience of the parties and witnesses and promote the just and efficient conduct of the litigation.
The actions concern the cause or causes of the crash of the Boeing 737-800 passenger aircraft which is operated by Caribbean Airlines in Guyana, on July 30, 2011.
The panel contended that centralization will eliminate duplicating evidence, particularly with respect to potential international evidence; prevent inconsistent pretrial rulings; and conserve the resources of the parties, their attorneys and of course, the judiciary.
Only three actions are pending so far, from the same accident, but over 100 passengers have retained counsel to pursue unresolved claims.
The Judicial Panel ruled that the Eastern District of New York is an appropriate court since the flight originated in New York, and a majority of the affected U.S. passengers reside in the New York area.
Caribbean Airlines meantime has not moved to release the findings of the report of the crash in which all the passengers and crew survived, but some passengers suffered disabilities as a result.