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U.S. Court Throws Out Lawsuit in Sibir Crash

  International  -   POSTED: 2007/07/01 15:20

A U.S. federal judge has thrown out a lawsuit against Sibir filed on behalf of victims of a July 9, 2006 crash in Irkutsk on the condition the company concede liability if sued in Russian courts. The suit was filed on behalf of passengers who were injured or killed when Sibir's Airbus A310, on a domestic flight from Moscow, crashed on landing. The airliner was carrying 195 passengers and a crew of eight. A total of 124 people were killed, according to the ruling.

U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan granted a motion by Sibir, now known as S7, to dismiss the complaint under a doctrine used when the choice of court is inconvenient, according to the ruling dated Thursday.

"In addition to the translation costs, plaintiffs, witnesses and counsel will have to travel to the United States, approximately 6,000 miles from Sibir's headquarters and the scene of the accident," Cote wrote.

But Cote conditioned the dismissal on Sibir's conceding liability if the plaintiffs sued it in Russia within six months and paying any damages determined by courts there. Sibir has already agreed to those terms, according to the ruling.

The lawsuit also named Airbus Leasing II, an affiliate of Airbus. Airbus Leasing owned the aircraft and leased it to Sibir. The judge ordered the entire case to be closed.

Airbus Leasing's lawyer, Thad Dameris, declined to comment. The lawyers for the plaintiffs could not be reached immediately.


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