Your Loved Ones Died in the Sinking but You Survived


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Jim Kalafus

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>What's the point, then? If it didn't make me feel happier, I wouldn't do it. Money cannot bring back a loved one (at least not yet), and what is the point of making another suffer as you did?

Here's a quote from a fellow named Cecil Kween that answers your question, Ben:

"...a form of vengeance against the plane makers. if this is going to hurt them, then it's wonderful."

Kween was left with a suicidally depressed wife and the care of his two granddaughters, after his son and daughter-in-law were killed in the March 1974 Paris cargo-door blowout crash.

After a fierce court battle, the Kween children had been awarded $1,509,950 for the loss of their parents, 190 times the amount that had originally been offered as a settlement.

A bit more back information on this most notorious inccident, which ushered in the era of the Massive Vindictive Settlement is necessary:

As early as 1968, there had been a debate regarding the venting ability of the cabins in the then-planning DC-10s. Venting is what allows the pressure to equalise between the pressurised cabin and the non-pressurised lower deck areas in the event of a hull rupture. Without enough venting,one gets sudden, explosive, decompression. The venting in the DC-10 was thought to be inadequate, which could lead to a floor collapse in the case of explosive decompression.

THE VERY FIRST TIME A DC-10 was pressurised, during a test, on may 29,1970, the cargo door wasn't properly latched and blew out. The subsequent explosive decompression buckled, but did not collapse, the cabin floor.

What followed was an effort to make the DOOR fail-safe and not the floor. An ugly squabble about who was going to absorb the cost of the improved door also raged.

The problem with the door was that it opened outward, and had a latch that could appear to be engaged, even though it wasn't. When the pressure inside the plane grew to be greater than the pressure outside, the door would violently burst off the plane.

Then, on June 12, 1972, an improperly latched cargo door blew out, on an American Airlines DC-10 over Windsor, Ontario. Passenger luggage and a coffin were ejected, to rain down on to a plowed field, where they landed along with the door. On the plane there was an explosive decompression, which collapsed the cabin floor, leaving two stewardesses strapped in their seats dangling over the hole. Everyone kept calm and, miraculously, the pilots effected an emergency landing.

In the ensuing fracas, the manufacturer came to a "Gentlemen's Agreement" with the FAA, that the door problem would dealt with quickly and efficiently if the FAA did not issue a government mandate that,of course, would foster further bad publicity.

Then, 18 months later, a Turkish Airways DC-10 filled with 346 people, including the aforementioned Kweens,took of on a routine Paris/London flight. But, 7 minutes after taking off, while climbing at an altitude of 13,500 feet, the cargo door blew out. Two Japanese businessmen, a Turkish college student, a female Vietnamese college student, and two middle aged, female, English school employees were immediately spat out through the door, as the cabin floor collapsed, and free-fell 13,500 feet along with their seats.

The 340 people who remained on the plane lived for another 77 seconds. 77 seconds that haunted, and haunts, their families. The collapsed floor severed all controls, and the plane went into a steep, 10,000 foot per minute dive. Evidence shows that in the last 20 seconds the crew did SOMETHING to alleviate the situation, for the bow had risen out of the dive at the end and when the plane hit the trees at nearly 500MPH it was just about on an even keel.

Count out 77 seconds to yourself.

Then, imagine being a survivor of those who died. And, to the horror of that scenario, adding the blow of discovering that the cargo door, supposedly modified after the 1972 accident, HADN'T BEEN.
 

Jim Kalafus

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Then, put yourself in the courtroom, where the corporate paper trail of this sordid affair was disclosed. A defect that was discovered the day the plane was first pressure tested, and which had already caused an in-flight accident that only the grace of the pilots had kept from true catastrophe had happened again. 346 people were dead due to a minor defect that SHOULD have been rectified four years prior.

The law, as it had been seemingly forever, was geared to protect business owners. But, by 1974, the mood of the general public was a lot less...docile...regarding cases such as this. And that was reflected in the verdicts that began being handed down. The Kween children settlement brought forth alot of fairly offensive blather regarding "opportunism" and "Greed that would threaten the entire legal system" from lawyers and establishment types who SHOULD have been reserving comment for corporations that allowed things like this to happen. The cost of replacing the DC-10 doors was assumed to be greater than the potential worth of people like David and Phyllis Kween....and that settlement ushered in an era where that line of reasoning was more cautiously pursued, because instead of the usual $20,000.00 or $25,000.00 per adult male victim, the cost could easily run into the tens of millions per person.
 
Alyson,
Thanks for the explanation. Yes, I am kind of young. Born the year and month titanic was found.
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On a morbid side note my cousin died on April 15, 1994. Thanks for the condolences George.

Thanks,
Kendra
 
May 27, 2007
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Hi Jim,

Thanks for that case study. That is major incompetence on the part of the Airlines company. Helps proving what I was saying.

Kendra,

quote:

Yes, I am kind of young. Born the year and month titanic was found.
I was 8 that year. I remember all the news.
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Making me feel old.
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My niece was born 2 years later and I helped take are of her. Shoot your 20 years older then my daughter or near to. Definitely starting to feel old. You don't live near Springfield do ya. I could use a good babysitter. Want to earn some extra money.
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quote:

On a morbid side note my cousin died on April 15, 1994. Thanks for the condolences George.
That is morbid I agree. Deepest sympathy to you, Kendra. I could understand why you were shaken up afterward when ever you went to stay with friends after something like that happening.​
 
That whole situation changed me a lot. It kind of made me realize that death doesn't discriminate. It doesn't care how old or young you are, or if you are guilty or innocent. That was a tough time for me and my family, but it was a long time ago and I have come to terms with it. He was a sweet, funny little boy that really loved batman.
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Nah, I don't live near any springfield... lol sorry. I work too much to babysit.
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Thank you again for your condolences. I have healed from all of that trauma. However, I will never forget getting home the next morning, and realizing what had happened. I believe I was the last one to know what had happened that night. Maybe it does still bother me a little, but I try to at least think of him once every day.
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Kendra
 
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