AIG Refuses to Pay Claims for U.S. Airways Jet that Ditched in Hudson River

Saturday, June 13, 2009

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Remember last September’s Troubled Asset  Relief Program or TARP?

The $900 billion taxpayer bailout of Wall Street criminals ramrodded through the Democratically controlled Congress and championed by former President George Bush, Henry Paulson, Ben Bernanke, Barney Franks and Nancy Pelosi? First in-line to feed at the Federal trough was AIG. We were repeatedly told insurance giant was “too big to fail.” If AIG went down in flames, so would the U.S. economy.

Fast forward to February of this year and US Airways Flight 1549. The plane took off from La Guardia Airport bound for Charlotte, NC, but struck a flock of birds shortly after takeoff and made an emergency landing in the Hudson River. While the 151 passengers and crew survived, thanks in large part to the superb skills of pilot Chesley “Sully”  Sullenberger,  passengers were forced to leave valuables like laptop computers, cell phones, and clothing in the sinking airliner.

US Airways assured passengers not to worry; they would be made whole for their his losses. But then the matter shifted from US Airways to the airline’s  insurer, AIG, now operating under government stewardship since its bailout last fall, things quickly went downhill.

While US Airways issued each passenger a check for $5,000 shortly after the accident to cover their immediate needs, AIG found no negligence on the part of the airline and has refused to pay all passenger claims.

According Andrew J. Maloney, a partner in the New York firm of Kreindler & Kreindler, which specializes in aviation litigation:

“I wish I had a hammer to get them to do the right thing. They’re riding a wave of feel-good opinion about how well the flight crew handled the bird strike.”

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8 Responses to AIG Refuses to Pay Claims for U.S. Airways Jet that Ditched in Hudson River

  1. Jenna Bush Stole My ID says:

    When will the American people wake up?

    The TARP was a ruse: a joke: a give away to George Bush’s buddies on Wall Street. 10 months and $900 billion dollars later and guess what? The economy still smells like dirty feet.

  2. Fran says:

    Let’s hope the New York firm of Kreindler & Kreindler, which specializes in aviation litigation has 151 new clients! Make that 152– US Airways should sue them too.

    Too big to fail?
    More like Failed too big.

    In the end, they are going to wind up paying claims, fines and legal costs.

    I’m trying to think of a befitting acronym definition for
    AIG…..

    Arrogance, Ignorance and Greed ?

  3. bradfrmphnx says:

    AIG….Anything I Get…..(I keep).

  4. Jim says:

    This reminds me of the insurance companies which refuse to pay for damage from hurricanes because victims didn’t have flood insurance.

  5. sloane says:

    Interesting that AIG is getting a bad rap for not being willing to shell out money to the passengers (well, really, to US Airways, to reimburse whatever they decide to give to the passengers–). Precisely since they’ve been bailed out by taxpayers, shouldn’t we be glad that they’re not jumping to complain a claim that doesn’t fit the policy that US Airways purchased?

    I’m actually surprised that AIG has reimbursed US Airways for anything at all. It seems to me that the $5,000 that US Airways gave to each passenger could easily be considered a justifiable business (marketing) expense in the interest of further propping up their reptutation (as not only the airline of a heroic pilot, but one that is generous with its passengers when it has no obligation to be).

    Brand expert John Tantillo did a post shortly after the accident naming US Airways the weeks’ ‘Brand Winner’. They stand to gain much more in branding power from having a pilot like Sully than they have shelled out to the passengers–even if it is hard to assign a monetary value to the goodwill and confidence that this incident generated.)

    Arguably, US Airways should further compensate the passengers and perhaps pay for therapy–either for ethical reasons or simply, again, because it’s a smart way to build a solid reputation, goodwill, and customer loyalty. But I don’t see why AIG (who sold them an insurance policy that only covered cases of negligence) should have anything to do with it.

  6. Dan says:

    “The TARP was a ruse: a joke: a give away to George Bush’s buddies on Wall Street. 10 months and $900 billion dollars later and guess what? The economy still smells like dirty feet.”

    It’s a good thing Obama fixed that… Oh wait, no, no he didn’t, he continued the SAME path and tripled that figure ( Well, as soon as the money gets done printing ) and is taking over private businesses.. and the economy is still in shambles.

  7. Donna says:

    From the information provided in the story how can anyone make a judgement on AIG’s decision? There is no mention of what type of policy that US Airways has with AIG or what that policy covers. Did US Airways confer with AIG before offering to make a payment to the passengers? All of the facts need to be presented before anyone makes a judgement on AIG or US Airways.

  8. jmopinion says:

    I believe this all started in 2000 but was in the makings for several yrs. prior.Bush and his billionaire oil buddies had a plan,and believe me it had nothing to do with keeping AMERICA strong or keeping American workers working,there #1 plan was to gouge,steel,and control as much as they possibly could.Bush may have been president ,but his billionaie buddies were running the country,and they did”nt care who they destryed as long as they had it all.MY ? NOW IS WHOS GOING TO BEABLE TO BUY WHAT THEY HAVE.I THINK THEY MAY HAVE SCREEEWED THEM SELVES.WHATS YOUR OPINION LET ME KNOW jmopinions.com

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