PONTOISE, France — A French court convicted Continental Airlines and one of its mechanics in Texas of manslaughter on Monday in the crash of a supersonic Concorde a decade ago that killed 113 people.
Both mechanic John Taylor and the airline said they would appeal the verdict.
Taylor said the case has "destroyed my life," and his lawyer complained that the little guy was forced to shoulder the blame in a case that involved big names in world aviation.
As the court in the Paris suburb of Pontoise found 42-year-old Taylor and Continental guilty of manslaughter, it ordered a 15-month suspended sentence for the mechanic and about $2.7 million in damages and fines for him and the company.
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Continental's lawyer, Olivier Metzner, accused the French court of issuing a "patriotic" verdict that acquitted French officials accused of ignoring design flaws in the Concorde.
The court confirmed investigators' long-standing belief that Taylor fitted a faulty metal strip on a Continental DC-10 weeks before the July 25, 2000 crash. The strip eventually tumbled onto the runway at Charles de Gaulle and punctured an Air France Concorde's tire, sending bits of rubber hurtling into the fuel tanks and starting a fire.
The plane then slammed into a nearby hotel, killing all 109 people aboard and four others on the ground.
The Concorde was retired in 2003.
All other defendants in the case — including three former French officials and Taylor's now-retired supervisor Stanley Ford — were acquitted.