The passengers should all put out a book full of shocking revelations.
It would be the same thing if it were a no fault accident where one of the passengers was injured in a taxi cab. The liability is greater because they were paying for safe delivery to their destination.
Had he... tried to land at a runway, and failed due to pilot error... he's at fault.
Crap like this makes me believe it's time to over throw the whole damned system.
Damage to the vehicle is still managed through tort (lawsuit) where fault determines liability.
I don't think you should be held liable for passengers in your vehicle except when they are paying you for the service of delivering them to a destination (like in a taxi or a plane). However, when they are paying for a service, the dynamic becomes one of you accepting liability for their well-being beyond social interaction that leads them to be in your vehicle as your guests.
I can see Jallman's point on this up to a certain point. They did pay to have safe travel on this airplane. And while it was a freak act, it is still their fault.
At the same time, if it was not for the airlines employee they should probably be dead right now. Unlike a taxicab, "accidents" in a plane don't tend to result in bodily harm, they result in bodily death. The fact that AA's employee was able to pull off a miraculous maneuver to actually save all their lives should, from a general feeling stand point not necessarily a legal one, play into AA's favor.
I won't speak about the legality of this because frankly I don't know the laws at all and I don't want to speak about something I'm so ignorant of.
From a general feeling standpoint, I believe that the airline should pay for any medical fees for physical injuries on top of the $5,000. I think the potential for emotional damage should not be held over the airlines head, as it was a freak accident that the people survived only because of the airlines employee's talent and skill.
"I am appalled that somebody who is the nominee...would take that kind of position"
"A court took away a presidency"
"...the brother of a man running for president was the governor of the state..."
It's horrifying because Trump is blunt instead of making overt implications.