The judge has ordered Continental to pay civil damages of $1.3 million to Air France, and has fined the American airline $265,000. The mechanic was also fined $2,650 and given a suspended 15-month sentence. John Taylor, the 42-year old mechanic was found to be at fault for having used titanium rather than a softer metal like aluminum, to construct a replacement piece for the DC-10 called a "wear strip."
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Continental said it would appeal the "absurd" ruling, which is the result of over a decade of wrangling in French courts. "To find that any crime was committed in this tragic accident is not supported either by the evidence at trial or by aviation authorities and experts around the world," Nick Britton, a Continental spokesman, said in an e-mailed statement.
Continental reached a settlement of $150 million in 2001 with the families of people killed in the accident.
The crash of Air France Flight 4590 was the only fatal accident involving the supersonic jets since they began flying in 1969.