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Monday, July 15, 2013

Asiana to proceed with TV station suit -- but NTSB off the hook

Seoul, South Korea -- Asiana Airlines says it will proceed with its planned lawsuit against an Oakland, California, television station -- but it's not going to pursue legal action against the National Transportation Safety Board.

Over the weekend, the Korean airlines had said it would sue both entities after an intern at the NTSB mistakenly confirmed "inaccurate and offensive" names as those of the pilots of ill-fated Flight 214. The bogus names that phonetically spelled out phrases such as "Something Wrong" and "We Too Low" were read during KTVU's noon broadcast on Friday. The airline called the report "demeaning" and said it was "reviewing possible legal action." Monday morning, the airline seemed to have a partial change of heart.

 
Airline spokesman Na Chul-hee said Asiana has retained a U.S. law firm to file a defamation claim against the TV station. But, he said, the company didn't have plans to file a separate suit against the NTSB. "After a legal review, the company decided to file a law suit against the network because it was their report that resulted in damaging the company's image," he said. On Friday, KTVU anchor Tori Campbell read the names. The news station, a CNN affiliate, later apologized on air and on its website.

"Nothing is more important to us than having the highest level of accuracy and integrity, and we are reviewing our procedures to ensure this type of error does not happen again," KTVU posted on its website. The station said the names were confirmed by an NTSB official in Washington prior to air. The NTSB also apologized for the "inaccurate and offensive" names that were erroneously confirmed by a summer intern.

"Earlier today, in response to an inquiry from a media outlet, a summer intern acted outside the scope of his authority when he erroneously confirmed the names of the flight crew on the aircraft," the NTSB said Friday in a statement.

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