Boeing Asks Judge to Limit Information to Families in Alaska Airlines Crash

Boeing has asked a federal judge to limit the amount of information it must provide relatives of those killed on Alaska Airlines Flight 261 until formal settlement talks are completed.

Lawyers for the family members say their clients need more information about how their loved ones died before they can resolve dozens of wrongful-death suits.

U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer said he would rule by Dec. 14.

Brian Panish, an attorney representing some of the families, accused Boeing of stonewalling, saying, "the defendants don't want any discovery to occur," The Seattle Times reported Saturday.

The crash of Alaska Airlines Flight 261 off Southern California killed all 88 passengers and crew members on Jan. 31, 2000.

Alaska has accepted liability for the crash, but not responsibility. The airline said it shouldn't have to produce more information because it's offered to pay damages.

The case is the latest in a series of legal wrangling involving the crash. Sixty-five cases are currently pending and 23 have been settled. Breyer appointed a mediator in October to conduct settlement talks, which will begin in December.

Boeing's lead attorney, Keith Gerrard, said suits arising from major plane crashes are ultimately settled but attorneys for some families said a trial might be needed because their clients want answers.