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November 13, 1981

Many states already provide no-fault car insurance and no-fault divorces. Are no-fault airline claims next? Maybe. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee Nov. 24 will look at a controversial amendment to the 1929 treaty governing aviation among 117 member countries. The proposed change, backed by the Reagan administration, would make collection easier for individuals involved in airline mishaps by introducing the no-fault concept now in use in other types of insurance settlements.

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The new plan could cut the current four-year average wait for processing claims to six or eight months. Other nations are expected to go along if the US gives its nod.

Meanwhile, US trial lawyers say the proposed limit of $320,000 plus medical and hospital expenses on individual claims would be much too low; they're trying to keep the plan grounded.