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September 6, 2018

Code-share passengers injured in Aeromexico plane crash seek justice and important safety discovery in U.S. court

Leer en Español.

A Portland family, including three minor children, who suffered severe injuries July 31 when their plane, Aeromexico Flight 2431, crashed while taking off during inclement weather near Durango, Mexico, has commenced litigation in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon, Portland Division.

The litigation includes the following named defendants: Aerovias de Mexico S.A. de C.V., d/b/a Aeromexico; Aerolitoral de Mexico S.A.de C.V., d/b/a/ Aeromexico Connect; and Delta Air Lines, Inc.

The family purchased Delta tickets through Delta Air Lines, and Delta put the family on Aeromexico. Due to Delta’s code-sharing agreement with Aeromexico, a practice engaged in by many U.S. air carriers, plaintiffs in the case were among the at least 65 U.S. citizens onboard the flight. Plaintiffs allege that Delta and Aeromexico were negligent and failed to operate safely and protect passengers by taking off during severe weather, causing the plane to violently crash in a wooded area near the end of the runway. One hundred and three passengers, and four crew members, were onboard the flight. At least 97 people reportedly suffered injuries in the crash.

“We are so thankful for our lives, but the emotional scarring and fear will take time to overcome. Whenever you get on a plane, you have no choice but to trust that the airline, pilots and the crew will do everything in their power to make sure you will make it to your destinations. Unfortunately for our family, and all the other passengers who were on Flight 2431, the airlines’ decisions risked our lives,” said plaintiff Dr. Colleen McCormick. “No one should have to go through what we went through. Hopefully, this lawsuit will force the airlines to take a closer look at what should have been done, including what safety reviews Delta should have conducted with its code-share foreign airlines.” 

“It was the first international trip for our children. Experiencing other cultures and visiting other countries is very important to us as a family. The rest of our family lives far away and getting on a plane to visit them will be very difficult for us now. This is a huge setback for our family. I can only hope my kids will be able to recover and feel safe to travel,” said McCormick’s husband, Donald Hudson.

“We booked with and trusted Delta, but instead we got a foreign airline and pilots taking off in violent weather,” said the couple’s adult daughter, Angel Hudson. “We’re lucky to be alive. Even my little brother realized and said we should not be taking off in such horrible weather. What were the Aeromexico pilots thinking, or doing, instead of looking out the window at the weather we all saw?”   

“All of the passengers onboard Flight 2431 will never be the same after this traumatic experience. Fortunately, no lives were lost, but the majority of the 103 passengers on flight 2431 will, for the rest of their lives,  have to live with the effects of their injuries and the memories of a plane crash,” said former U.S. DOT Inspector General Mary Schiavo, attorney for the plaintiffs. “Delta and all other U.S. carriers are required by the FAA to thoroughly review the practices and safety of foreign carriers. Did Delta ascertain whether Aeromexico had wind-shear detection equipment, weather radar, and a first-rate meteorology department before entering into code-sharing agreements? Through this litigation, we hope to take a close look at not only Aeromexico’s actions, but Delta’s actions to ensure the safety of the trusting customer.”

Aeromexico Flight 2431 attempted to take off from Guadalupe Victoria International Airport, outside of Durango, and was en route to Mexico City when it crashed around 4 p.m. Tuesday, July 31. Heavy wind and rain were reported in the area and according to many passenger reports were clearly visible from the aircraft before the takeoff attempt. Durango State Governor José Rosas Aispuro Torres said a gust of wind caused the plane to suddenly descend during takeoff. The plane’s left wing struck the ground and its two engines were ripped off of the plane during several impacts with the ground.

Attorneys on Motley Rice’s aviation team litigate cases in U.S. Courts for clients involved in crashes in locations throughout the world, including: Air France 358 in Toronto in 2005; Asiana Airlines 214 in San Francisco in 2013; British Airways 8456 in London in 2009; Singapore Airlines 006 in Taiwan in 2000; Malaysia Airlines MH370 in the South China Sea in 2014; and West Caribbean Airways 708 in Venezuela in 2005.

The case is Colleen McCormick and Donald Hudson, individually and on behalf of A.H., C.H., and D.H., minors, and Angel Hudson v. Aerovias de Mexico S.A. DE C.V., a foreign corporation, d/b/a Aeromexico; and Aerolitoral de Mexico S.A.DE C.V., a foreign corporation d/b/a Aeromexico Connect, and Delta Airlines, Inc., a Georgia corporation doing business in Oregon. Read the complaint.

Learn more about the Aeromexico plane crash.

Learn more about airline code-shares.