In re Air Crash Disaster Near Bombay, India on January 1, 1978

531 F. Supp. 1175 (1982)

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In re Air Crash Disaster Near Bombay, India on January 1, 1978

United States District Court for the Western District of Washington
531 F. Supp. 1175 (1982)

Facts

On New Year’s Day 1978, an Air India aircraft crashed into the sea shortly after takeoff from an airport in Bombay, India. Everyone on board the plane was killed. Nearly all the victims were Indian nationals. The personal representatives of the deceased (plaintiffs) filed suit in United States federal district court against several United States corporations (defendants), alleging that the accident was the result of faulty equipment on the plane and that the evidence needed to prove their case was located in the United States. The United States corporations, in turn, asserted that the accident was caused by the pilot and crew’s faulty operation of the plane, and that the evidence needed to prove their defense was located in India, including witnesses and other tangible evidence, access to which had been blocked by Indian government agencies. The United States corporations moved to dismiss the suit on the basis of forum non conveniens and, in connection with their motion, agreed to submit to the jurisdiction of the courts of India, make their employees available to testify in India, and waive any applicable statute of limitations under Indian law.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Fitzgerald, J.)

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