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October 2, 1999 - Settlement Reached in Last Lawsuit Involving 1989 Jet Crash in Iowa

A former executive at an Elk Grove Village company who survived the crash-landing of a United Airlines DC-10 in 1989 has settled his lawsuit for $2 million, officials said Friday.

John Hatch, 56, now of Lake Geneva, Wis., walked away from the crash that killed 112 passengers and crew at the airport in Sioux City, Iowa. Since then, Hatch has suffered post-traumatic stress disorder, according to his lawsuit against McDonnell-Douglas Corp., the manufacturer of the DC-10; United; and General Electric, which made the aircraft's engines. The $2 million settlement, reached late Thursday during the second week of a trial in Cook County Circuit Court, represented the last of hundreds of cases involving United Flight 232. The tail-mounted engine exploded during the flight from Denver to Chicago on July 19, 1989, severing all three hydraulic lines and causing the loss of all flight controls. United Capt. Al Haynes and his crew were credited with steering the DC-10 to Sioux City by alternating the thrust of the two remaining engines. But the plane's right wing tip struck the ground during the emergency landing, and the aircraft ignited and cartwheeled down the runway with the main part of the fuselage landing in a cornfield. Some 111 passengers and one flight attendant were killed; 184 passengers survived.

The National Transportation Safety Board determined that a defect in the titanium fan disc of the tail engine was present when the disc was manufactured and that years later a crack developed. The fan disc disintegrated during Flight 232, sending metal shards into the hydraulic lines. Approximately $200 million has been paid out in all litigation stemming from the crash, according to the law firm of Corboy & Demetrio, which represented Hatch. All but three of the lawsuits were settled, with the largest single settlement $25 million.

"Mr. Hatch is absolutely delighted with the settlement and looks forward to going on with his life," said his attorney, Francis Patrick Murphy. Hatch has suffered flashbacks that caused him to limit his flying, his lawsuit said. He was president of Acme-Wiley, an Elk Grove Village manufacturer of billboard signs. He lost his position with the company in 1993. Search - 67 Results - "plane crash" and liability and lawsuit

In all airplane accident cases it is essential that measures be taken promptly to preserve evidence, investigate the accident in question, and to enable physicians or other expert witnesses to thoroughly evaluate any injuries. If you or a loved one is a victim of an airplane accident, call now at or CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT A SIMPLE CASE FORM. The initial consultation is free of charge, and if we agree to accept your case, we will work on a contingent fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if there is a monetary award or recovery of funds. Don't delay! You may have a valid claim and be entitled to compensation for your injuries, but a lawsuit must be filed before the statute of limitations expires.

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