Dana Air Crash Legal Proceedings Filed In Nigeria And USA

Nigerian Authorities urged to publish Accident Report into the cause of more than 150 deaths in plane crash tragedy Two years ago


Dave Grimshaw, Press Officer | 0114 274 4397

Specialist aviation lawyers representing the families of passengers killed in the Dana Air crash in Lagos two years ago today (3rd June) have issued court proceedings against the airline in the USA and Nigeria to protect their clients’ legal rights.

The Aviation Attorney Group, led by British law firm Irwin Mitchell, currently represents 27 families who lost loved ones when the Dana Air McDonnell Douglas MD-83 aircraft crashed while on its final approach to Lagos Airport.
More than 150 passengers including a British citizen, a family of six Americans, four Chinese, two Lebanese and a French woman were killed in the crash, along with six crew and ten members of the public on the ground.

Preliminary investigation reports suggest the crash was caused by a loss of power from the engines, but the exact cause of any power loss and key evidence from the Cockpit Voice Recorder, which survived the crash, has still not been revealed.

The Aviation Attorney Group has now filed court proceedings as the legal limitation for bringing claims in Nigeria and the USA expires on the 2nd anniversary. The legal team says this formal action in the courts secures their clients’ legal rights and enables the families they represent to continue their legal claims.

Jim Morris a former RAF Boeing pilot and Partner in Irwin Mitchell’s specialist aviation law team, said:

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“This tragedy sent a shockwave throughout Nigeria and many families were left devastated by the loss of loved ones. Many are still trying to overcome the trauma of the events two years ago.
“What has been very frustrating for the families over the last two years is the lack of information about the accident investigation and the cause of the crash. Even now very little official information has been released by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

“In our action on behalf of the families we allege that Dana Air and the pilot of the aircraft involved are the primary parties liable for this accident, and they should be held to account for the families’ losses.

“A court in Florida has already ruled that families that were domiciled in Nigeria would be unable to pursue legal claims in the US so proceedings have been commenced in the High Court in Lagos for families living in Nigeria. Irwin Mitchell and the Aviation Attorney Group will also continue litigation in the Florida courts for US and Canadian domiciled families.

"While nothing can ever bring back those who died in the crash, we are determined to support the families in securing justice.”
Jim Morris, Partner

As a further measure to improve aviation standards in Nigeria, Irwin Mitchell and the Aviation Attorney Group are supporting the Nigerian Leadership Initiative’s “Safer Skies Initiative” which is being launched this week to promote greater flight safety in Nigeria.

Among other things, the NLI offered grief counselling to families affected by the Dana Air crash and it is also launching a web portal for citizens to report concerns relating to flight safety. It will also offer an advocacy service which will act as an organised voice, highlighting these concerns and calling for improvements in flight safety.

Clive Garner, Head of Aviation Law at Irwin Mitchell added:

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We very much support the NLI’s initiative to raise awareness of flight safety issues and their efforts to ensure that lessons are learnt and measures taken to improve flight safety in Nigeria.

“While we hoped that there would be a prompt and comprehensive investigation following this tragic accident 2 years ago as well as the publication of a definitive accident report, the fact is that there are still no clear answers and the families of the passengers who were killed are still unaware of exactly what happened and why. The families also don’t know what, if any, safety improvements have been made to prevent an accident like this occurring in the future. On behalf of our clients, we urge the Nigerian authorities to complete their investigation and publish the final accident report without any further delay.”
Clive Garner, Partner

Irwin Mitchell Aviation Law has over four decades of experience in handling aviation claims for passengers and crew involved in aviation accidents around the world. For more information visit our Air Accident Claims Page or our Dana Air Accident page for more information.