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Settlement of $2 Million Reached in Last Case from 1989 United Airlines Plane Crash

Firms' Clients Awarded Over $70 Million In Damages

October 1, 1999

In the final lawsuit stemming from the crash of United Airlines flight #232 on July 19, 1989, suburban Chicago resident John Hatch settled his lawsuit for $2 million. Hatch's attorney, Corboy & Demetrio partner Francis Patrick Murphy, said the firm represented over 40 victims of the crash that killed 111 passengers. Firm founder Philip H. Corboy and Murphy also negotiated the largest settlement in the case, a $25 million award for the family of one of the people killed in the crash.

Hatch, now 56 years old, survived the tragedy that occurred after the plane's tail-mounted engine exploded during a flight from Denver to Chicago. The explosion severed all three hydraulic lines, causing the pilots to lose control of the aircraft. The pilots were credited with steering the aircraft by alternating the thrust of the plane's two other engines, but the emergency landing proved too much for the disabled plane. The right wing clipped the ground and the plane ignited and cartwheeled down the runway, the fuselage landing in a nearby cornfield. Remarkably, 184 people survived the crash.

Murphy said Hatch's settlement was the highest for any survivor of United Airlines flight #232. Mr. Hatch and his wife now live in Wisconsin.

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