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The offer by Swissair and Boeing to take responsibility for last year’s crash that killed 229 people off the coast of Nova Scotia — provided the victims’ families agree not to pursue punitive damages — has been rejected by plaintiffs’ lawyers who argue that the move “is more public relations than substance.”

In a brief filed yesterday in U.S. District Court, a team of 20 plaintiffs’ lawyers argues that Swissair and Boeing are really trying to “put a tight lid on plaintiffs’ right to discovery of defendants’ misconduct,” and to use an inapplicable law that would not only preclude punitive damages, but significantly limit compensatory awards.

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