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Famílias vôo 402


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31/7/2007 6:11 PM

Flight 402: 90% of the families have been paid compensation


Published on 07/30/2007 2:16 PM


In view of the distorted information on the status of the claims for damages referring to flight 402, TAM hereby offers the clarification below.


Ten years have elapsed since the unfortunate accident of flight 402. Since then, international insurers and reinsurers contracted by Fokker, Grumman (thrust reverser manufacturer), Teleflex (feedback cable manufacturer) and TAM have indemnified 90% of the families involved. At that time, the Company immediately committed to do everything within its power to mitigate the pain and suffering of these families and of the family members of our Employees, also affected by the accident.


In the handling of all claims resulting from that accident, TAM has always acted in good faith, having sought settlements to expedite the dismissal of the proceedings. Any property damage occurred on the ground was settled after the event.


Some claims are still outstanding because they exceed the scope of the Company’s action. They can be summarized into five groups:


1) Actions filed in Brazil and in the United States (California, New York and Florida) by families who retained lawyers in the different jurisdictions. TAM is aware that many of these families are attempting to solve pending issues and controversies with their lawyers to enable a settlement of their cases.


2) As required by law, actions involving minors are subject to the Ministry of Public Prosecution, which implies longer times to negotiate many settlements. The retention and operation of funds deposited in court in these cases are supervised by the Ministry of Public Prosecution. The legal rules currently applicable do not allow the closing of the case and its dismissal until the minors involved come of age.


3) Actions filed by families whose lawyers had sought to obtain additional funds from TAM, despite having agreed to enter into settlements. This is a matter of principle and an issue of legal safety for all the ones involved, and, as such, the reason why the Company has insisted on the maintenance of the terms agreed to. To this date, TAM has succeeded in affirming the validity in Court trials of all settlements executed.


4) There are some cases for which a settlement has already been reached, the settlement amount has been paid, but they cannot be dismissed, owing to disputes between claimants and their former lawyers concerning attorney’s fees. TAM is not a part of these disputes, but will monitor the cases until the actual discharge thereof.


In respect for the truth of facts, it is important to emphasize that TAM’s liability for the major factors that contributed to that accident was ruled out, as can be evidenced from the final report issued by the Brazilian Aeronautical Accident Prevention and Investigation Center – CENIPA. The non-existence of TAM’s liability has also been upheld by the Court of Justice of the State of São Paulo.


In a press release published at that time to explain the conclusions of the report, Department of Civil Aviation – DAC explained that “deficiencies had been found in the manufacturer’s design, which is considered the factor that contributed mostly to the fatality of the accident.”






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