The families of the three passengers who died following the Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crash earlier this month have hired Kreindler & Kreindler, a high-powered New York law firm known for representing victims in major aviation disasters including the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center.
Partner Jim Kreindler confirmed to Reuters this week that he would be handling the cases of Ye Meng Yuan, Wang Lin Jia and Liu Yipeng, the three Chinese teens killed in the crash or shortly after. Wang Lin Jia was reportedly killed when she was ejected from the back of the plane after the tail section sheared off. Ye Meng Yuan survived the crash but was struck and killed by an emergency vehicle shortly after. Liu Yipeng died several days later at San Francisco General Hospital.
Kreindler's firm will also handle at least a dozen more injury cases involving American, Chinese, and Korean citizens who were among the 307 people on board the plane. Earlier this week, the firm sent a request to the San Francisco Fire Department asking for copies of all documents, video and photo evidence related to their response.
In the days following the crash, Asiana Airlines also lawyered up hiring a litigation specialist from Los Angeles-based firm Condon & Forsyth to coordinate payments for medical costs, hotel stays and car rentals for injured and stranded passengers in the wake of the crash.
Under the Montreal Convention international aviation treaty the airline is liable for $150,000 in damages per injured passenger and even more if the airline was at fault. Only passengers who are U.S. residents, bought their tickets in the U.S. or whose final destination was the United States can sue the airline in this country, where payouts tend to be even higher.