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    Wednesday, February 20, 2019-9:56:23P.M.






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China travel agency sues Star Marianas

A CHINA travel agency is suing Star Marianas Air Inc. or SMA in connection with a plane crash on Oct. 6, 2013 that resulted in one passenger’s death and severe injuries to  three others. The four  booked their travel through agents in China associated with the travel agency.

Foshan Tianning International Travel Ltd., through attorney Bruce Berline, filed the lawsuit against SMA in Superior Court for common-law indemnification.

Common-law indemnification is “a court-created doctrine that allows a defendant to make another party pay for a plaintiff’s damages that the defendant was found liable for.”

Foshan is asking the court to award the travel agency an unspecified amount for damages including legal fees and costs.

According to the lawsuit, the four passengers made their initial booking through Zheijiang Waihai Star International Travel Co. Ltd. which contracted with Everbright International Travel Co., Ltd. to make travel arrangements for the Waihai customers.

Everbright  contracted Foshan to arrange flight tickets, a local itinerary, accommodations, and other local arrangements.

Foshan, in turn,  contracted Saipan Travel to make travel arrangements in Saipan and Tinian.

Berline said Saipan Travel arranged for air transportation for its customers between Tinian and Saipan as part of pre-arranged tour packages.

Lei Wang, one of the injured passengers, filed a lawsuit in China on Oct. 21, 2014 against Waihai, seeking compensation for her injuries suffered in the plane crash.

Berline said Foshan was determined to be liable to Waihai for indemnification and made payment to Lei Wang of 1,065,680.40 yuan or over $155,000 as an advance settlement with Lei Wang.

Lei Wang prevailed in the lawsuit against Waihai which was ordered to pay Lei Wang 980,463.81 yuan or $140,000 plus a case-processing fee of 13,605 yuan or $1,987, Berline added.

Pengliang Cai, another passenger also sued Waihai for damages resulting from injuries suffered in the crash.

Cai also prevailed in the lawsuit and Waihai was ordered to pay Cai 410,603.30 yuan or over $59,900 plus a case-processing fee of 7,459 yuan or over $1,000.

 The lawsuit did not identify the third passenger, but Berline stated that the  other passengers filed a suit on behalf of Zhang Xiaolei, who died in the crash and was related to the three.

 Berline said the three prevailed and Waihai was ordered to pay  785,616.50 yuan or $114,000 plus a case-processing fee of 12, 271 yuan or over $1,700.

 On Oct. 8, 2016, Berline added, Waihai filed a lawsuit against Everbright in China for indemnification. Waihai prevailed and Everbright was ordered to pay Waihai 1,067,126.16 yuan or over $155,000 representing Waihai’s liability to the passengers in the crash minus Foshan’s advance payments.

On March 23, 2016, China Union Property Insurance C. Inc. sued Foshan and Everbright to recover funds paid out as a result of the plane crash.

China Union Property Insurance C. Inc. prevailed and Foshan and Everbright were held jointly and severally liable to pay 500,000 yuan or $73,000 plus a processing fee of 8,800 yuan or over $1,200.

Everbright sued Foshan in China to recover costs incurred as a result of litigation related to the crash and seeks  compensation in the amount of 1,102,818.16 yuan or over $160,000.

Berline said as a result of SMA’s negligence, Foshan has been held vicariously liable and required to pay 2,677,298.56 yuan or over $390,000.

The lawyer said Foshan is only vicariously liable to the injured passengers for SMA’s negligence.

Foshan, he added, is entitled to indemnification from SMA in the amount of the money paid to the injured parties, plus reasonable legal fees.