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Foreign law firms are competing for the right to represent the interests of those affected by an air crash in Siberia early last month
Foreign law firms are competing for the right to represent the interests of those affected by an air crash in Siberia early last month. The Airbus 310 tragedy at Irkutsk airport July 9 claimed 124 lives and left another 70 injured. No official cause for the tragedy has yet been made public. "The competition is tough because legal services in air crash cases pay very well," said an employee of a U.S. law firm in Irkutsk. The firm has concluded more than 80 contracts with families of the crash victims. It is now videotaping testimony from the relatives to use later in courts outside Russia, the company spokesman said. He said American, English, and Mexican lawyers are flying into Irkutsk to open offices in partnership with Russian colleagues. The lawyers are preparing to sue foreign companies involved in the production and maintenance of the Airbus. "If the Airbus were disassembled, its components could be sent back to 80 countries," said a foreign legal expert who visited Irkutsk. "It is too early to say when and against which companies lawsuits will be filed," said the U.S. law firm spokesman. He added that the timing would not necessarily depend on the pronouncement of an official verdict on the tragedy. The Russian daily Kommersant cited a source in the Interstate Aviation Committee August 3 as saying an engine malfunction caused the Airbus to leave the runway and crash into nearby garages. Thursday marks 40 days since the accident, and in keeping with Orthodox tradition, the victims are being mourned at the site.
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