Singapore Airlines settles 12 US lawsuits
    over Taipei air crash

  Agence France Presse
October 27, 2004

SINGAPORE Airlines (SIA) has reached settlements in 12 US lawsuits brought against it by survivors and relatives of victims of a plane crash in Taiwan that killed 83 people, lawyers said Wednesday, Oct 27.

Details of the out-of-court financial settlements remain confidential, but a jury earlier this year awarded $15 million to relatives of a California couple who died in the fiery crash of Flight SQ 006 in 2000.

The Boeing 747-400 jet, en route from Singapore to Los Angeles, crashed while attempting to take off from the wrong runway at Taipei's Chiang Kai-Shek airport on October 31, 2000, as a typhoon approached.

The airliner ploughed into construction equipment after mistakenly entering the wind-swept runway that had been closed for repairs, killing 83 of the 179 people on board and injuring 57.

The lawyers who negotiated the 12 settlements over the crash, the Los Angeles firm of Greene, Broillet, Panish and Wheeler, said one case had been shifted to Singapore.

The settled cases included 10 lawsuits by family members of passengers who died in the crash and two cases filed by travellers who survived the accident, the lawyers said.

Two of the cases went to trial, but one of them was settled out-of-court for what lawyers said was an undisclosed "record sum" of money shortly after the trial got underway in September 2003.

The second case, brought by the children of Richard and Ching Ying Wu who perished on the airliner, resulted in a $15 million jury decision against Singapore's national carrier in May this year.

Some 140 lawsuits stemming from the crash were filed in the United States.

Singapore Airlines could not immediately confirm the latest settlements.