Airline sued by woman who lost husband in crash

Posted: Tuesday, February 15, 2000

CHICAGO (AP) -- A lawsuit filed Monday accuses the pilots of Alaska Airlines Flight 261 of not taking all necessary measures to make an emergency landing before their plane plunged into the Pacific Ocean on Jan. 31, killing all 88 people aboard.

The lawsuit was filed by Julie Friedmann, whose husband Allen M. Friedmann, 48, of the Chicago suburb of Round Lake Beach, was heading for a new job with the California Bankers Association when the plane crashed.

The action, filed in U.S. District Court, claims the aircraft's pilots did not take all the measures they could have to make an emergency landing upon detecting a mechanical problem. It did not mention the amount of money being sought.

Named as defendants were Alaska Airlines; McDonnell Douglas Corp., which manufactured the MD-83 plane; and Boeing Co., which now owns McDonnell Douglas. Other defendants were expected to be named later, said attorney Robert Clifford.

The aircraft was on a flight from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, to San Francisco when it plunged into the Pacific Ocean near Los Angeles.

Shortly before the crash the pilots reported they were trying to fix a malfunctioning stabilizer. Parts of the stabilizer found at the crash site were damaged, although it hasn't been determined whether the damage occurred before or after the plane hit the water.

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