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In re Air Crash Disaster at Sioux City, Iowa
United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
734 F. Supp. 1425 (1990)
During a flight from Denver to Chicago, an aircraft lost hydraulic power and crashed while attempting an emergency landing in Iowa, killing 112 of the 296 people on board and injuring others. The aircraft was owned and operated by United Airlines (United) (defendant), an Illinois corporation that maintained the aircraft in California and trained its flight crews in Colorado. The aircraft was manufactured by McDonnell Douglas (defendant), a Maryland corporation with its principal place of business in Missouri that designed and built the aircraft in California. The engines on the aircraft were manufactured by General Electric (defendant), a New York corporation that designed and built the engines in Ohio. People injured in the crash and the representatives and survivors of people killed in the crash (plaintiffs) filed 18 suits against United, McDonnell Douglas, and General Electric in federal courts in 10 states. Those actions were transferred to the Northern District of Illinois for pretrial management as a multidistrict litigation. United, McDonnell Douglas, and General Electric filed motions to dismiss all claims for punitive damages or, in the alternative, for a ruling as to what law would govern punitive damages.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Conlon, J.)
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