Attorney Says Continental Settles Denver Crash Suit for $10 Million
HOUSTON (AP) _ The families of four people killed in the 1987 crash of a Continental Airlines jet in Denver will share $10 million in an out-of-court settlement, a lawyer says.
Plaintiffs’ Attorney Michael Sydow said Thursday the case against the airline was settled a few hours before it was scheduled to go to court on Monday.
But Continental spokesman Ned Walker said Friday the settlement reached this week involved the family of just one victim. The other three settled about eight months ago, Walker said.
Sydow was in court Friday and unavailable to answer questions about the discrepancy, an assistant said.
Walker declined to give the amount of the settlement, which he noted will actually be paid for Continental by the airline’s insurance company, United States Aviation Insurance Group of New York.
Twenty-eight people died and 54 were injured when the Continental DC-9 crashed while attempting to take off in a snowstorm at Stapleton International Airport on Nov. 15, 1987.
The Houston-based carrier already has paid more than $20 million to settle 36 other crash-related cases, lawyers said.
The National Transportation Safety Board ruled the crash was caused by a combination of weather factors and pilot errors.
The NTSB noted that the first officer, who was at the controls and killed in the crash, had little flight time on DC-9s. Investigators also noted that the takeoff came 27 minutes after the jet was last de-iced.
Sydow said $4.5 million will go to Mary Cook of Boise, Idaho, and her daughter, Kay Gosse. Mrs. Cook’s husband, Richard Cook, died in the crash, Sydow said.
Helen Hideshima of Denver will receive $2.5 million for the death of her husband, Mako Hideshima; Byron Owens of Nyssa, Wash., will get $750,000 for the death of his wife, Terry; and David Daniel of Nampa, Idaho, $2.2 million for the loss of his wife, Tamara, the attorney said. Daniel was seated next to his wife in the plane.
Sydow has two remaining cases filed on behalf of families of crash victims pending against Continental.