American Airlines Flight 331


The crash of American Airlines Flight 331 in Kingston, Jamaica, on December 22, 2009, was the second crash of an American Airlines passenger jet that occurred during an attempted landing in stormy, gusty conditions. The previous crash of American Airlines 1420 on June 1, 1999, in Little Rock, Arkansas, involved similar circumstances. Slack & Davis represented passengers of both AA1420 and AA331.

photo crash of American Airlines 331Photo source: Jet Careers website 

Details about the Crash

  • Flight 331 was en route from Miami International Airport, Florida, to Norman Manley Airport, Kingston, Jamaica, on December 22, 2009, with 148 passengers and six crew members.
  • During an attempted approach and landing during a heavy rain storm, the pilots failed to maintain control of the Boeing 737. It skidded off the departure end of the runway and over a highway, coming to rest near the ocean.
  • Many of the passengers were injured, some seriously. There were no fatalities.

Montreal Convention

All of the passenger claims were governed by the Montreal Convention. Slack & Davis represented 17 actual passengers and four spouse non-passengers for a total of 21 individuals. A consolidated lawsuit for the firm’s passenger clients was filed in federal court in Dallas, Texas. American Airlines sought to transfer the cases to federal court in Miami where other AA 331 cases had been filed. The motion to transfer was denied and the Dallas litigation was allowed to proceed. American Airlines did not contest liability and the lawsuits involved only issues of damages. Because American Airlines did not contest liability there were no depositions taken of the pilots or American Airlines operations personnel.

All of the firm’s cases were settled for confidential amounts.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) dispatched investigators to Jamaica and assisted the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority.