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US jury blames Parker for plane crash

01 July, 2004

A US jury has ordered Parker Hannifin, the world`s largest hydraulics manufacturer, to pay $43.6m to the families of three people killed in a plane crash in Indonesia in 1997. The Los Angeles Superior Court jury decided that defects in the rudder controls of the Silk Air Boeing 737 caused it to plummet from an altitude of more than more than 10km, killing all 104 people aboard.

The jury`s finding is at odds with that of the US National Transportation Safety Board, which concluded that there were no mechanical defects and that the Silk Air pilot crashed the plane deliberately.

The jury put all of the blame for the crash on Parker Hannifin and none on Silk Air or Boeing, which manufactured the 10-month-old plane. Parker Hannifin has denied that there was a mechanical malfunction and says the crash was the result of "manual intervention". It is appealing against the decision.

Following the LA court decision, the families of 30 other crash victims have now filed for a trial. If they are successful, they could win a combined payout of £500m.

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