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11 lawsuits remain in Flight 1420 crash

By ANDREA HARTER

This article was published July 16, 2001 at 4:44 a.m.

— Most of the Flight 1420 lawsuits have been settled, with 11 remaining on U.S. District Judge Henry Woods' docket in Little Rock.

More than 90 percent of the surviving passengers or the families of the dead hired attorneys, but only five damage trials have been held. Most settled in mediation for secret amounts.

Brenda and Quintin Salmond, of Fontana, Calif., who were seated in the second row of first-class, settled their case last week. The couple were thrown from the plane when a steel catwalk ripped open a car-length section of the fuselage. The entire left side of Quintin Salmond's body was broken.

The next jury trial is set for Aug. 6, brought by the family of Sara Gray. That case is the last death case, and, if tried, will be the only one to be decided by a jury. The Russellville woman, who was returning from a two-week trip to the British Isles, was seated in row 18, where the plane broke in half. She died instantly.

At least two damage cases are set for trial as late as December.

Meanwhile, on June 29, a committee of survivors' lawyers filed several hundred pages of deposition testimony as proof that a punitive trial should proceed. Woods has not ruled on that request.

Copyright © 2001, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Inc. All rights reserved.

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