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Astronaut McNair's Family Sues Maker of Challenger Boosters

September 06, 1986|From Times Wire Services and Associated Press

HOUSTON — The family of astronaut Ronald E. McNair on Friday sued the maker of the solid rocket boosters blamed for the explosion that destroyed the shuttle Challenger and killed him and six other crew members.

Documents filed in a state district court charge that negligence by Morton Thiokol Inc. in the design, manufacture and assembly of the boosters caused the Jan. 28 disaster.

The suit asks for unspecified damages.

Attorney Ronald D. Krist said the company acted immorally when four vice presidents overrode engineers' recommendations not to launch Challenger.

Jane Smith, widow of pilot Michael J. Smith, has filed a $15.1-million claim against the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, saying that it let the shuttle be launched with known defects.

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