In re Air Crash Disaster Near Chicago.docx - Chicago,IllinoisonMay25 1979 United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit 644 F.2d 594(1981

In re Air Crash Disaster Near Chicago.docx -...

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In re Air Crash Disaster Near  Chicago, Illinois on May 25,  1979 United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit 644 F.2d 594 (1981) Rule of Law In a mass tort where actions are filed in multiple jurisdictions and the laws of several states may be applicable, the transferee court should apply each original forum state’s choice-of-law principles, employing a substantively similar interest-based approach for each, to determine which state’s law would apply in that forum on the specific issue of punitive damages. Facts On May 25, 1979, American Airlines (AA) (defendant) Flight 191 crashed in Illinois en route from Chicago to Los Angeles, killing 273 people. McDonnell Douglas Corporation (MDC) (defendant), which was headquartered in Missouri, had designed and manufactured the plane in California. AA, which was headquartered in New York, had maintained the plane in Oklahoma. Parties affected by the crash (plaintiffs), who resided in various jurisdictions, filed 118 wrongful death actions in Illinois, California, New York, Michigan, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. Plaintiffs alleged that MDC was at fault in its design and manufacture of the plane, and that AA had failed to adequately maintain it. Compensatory and punitive damages were sought.
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