[This is the headline over a transcript of a segment from NBC Nightly News on this date in 1992. It reads as follows:]
TOM BROKAW, anchor:
Finally, there is some justice. That was the reaction today from a family member in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, when a federal jury found the airline guilty of willful misconduct. That decision is expected to force the insurance companies now to pay millions of dollars in claims. NBC's John Miller is following the case.
JOHN MILLER reporting:
It was four days before Christmas. The plane was blasted out of the sky at 39,000 feet. The tiny village of Lockerbie, Scotland, shook under a torrent of wreckage and corpses. 259 passengers were killed, 186 of them were Americans. Eleven more people were killed in the village below. For almost four years, the families of those killed have fought to get Pan Am to admit some responsibility. For five months in this New York courthouse, lawyers for Pan Am have been trying to claim to a jury they're not responsible. Today, that jury ruled that Pan Am was negligent by allowing the suitcase that contained the bomb to be loaded onto Flight 103. The suitcase was not inspected by Pan Am employees, even though records would have told them it wasn't connected to any of the passengers on that flight. A federal judge issued a gag order so lawyers and family members couldn't comment today. But Paul Hudson, who represents a group of the families, said this before he learned of the gag order:
PAUL HUDSON: Well it's, it's a matter of great relief that at least this phase is now over, and the, the issue of Pan Am's poor security has been formally determined.
MILLER: In London, British family members said the suit, which demands $300 million, wasn't about money. It was about forcing airlines to tighten security.
PETER WATSON: There's a warning to the airline industry that if their security is as lax and as poor and as haphazard as Pan Am's security was in this occasion, then they face fearful damages.