Irwin Mitchell Aviation Law represents families of 26 passengers killed in the Dana Air crash and is litigating their cases in the US and Nigeria.
On 3 June 2012 a Dana Air McDonnell Douglas MD-83 aircraft flying from Abuja in central Nigeria came down in a suburb five miles north of Murtala Muhammed International Airport in the capital city of Lagos, killing 153 people on-board and a number of people on the ground.
Jim Morris, a former RAF Boeing AWACS pilot and now a partner in the specialist Aviation Law Team at Irwin Mitchell, was invited by the Nigerian Leadership Initiative (NLI) to advise families who lost loved ones in the accident at two Families’ Forums organised by the NLI. The first Forum was in Lagos in July 2012 and the second was in Abuja in August 2012. Jim provided the families with specialist advice on the accident, the investigation and their legal options and rights resulting from the tragedy. Subsequently, in December 2012 Jim was invited by the Nigeria Bar Association to present a lecture on international aviation litigation to Nigerian lawyers in Lagos.
With more than two years since the accident there is still no comprehensive final accident report, just brief preliminary reports that indicate a loss of power in both engines. Unfortunately this unsatisfactory lack of information leaves many unanswered questions on the causes of the crash.
In order to protect the families rights prior to expiry of the two year legal limitation period, the aviation team filed proceedings in Florida, USA and the High Court of Lagos, Nigeria. In the actions it is alleged that Dana Air and the pilot of the aircraft are the primary parties liable for this accident. The litigation will proceed in both jurisdictions to hold the defendants to account for the families’ losses - Florida for the US and Canadian domiciled families and Lagos for the Nigerian domiciled families.
As a further measure to improve aviation standards in Nigeria, Irwin Mitchell is supporting the Nigerian Leadership Initiative’s “Safer Skies Initiative” which has been launched to promote greater flight safety in Nigeria. Among other things, the NLI offers grief counselling to families affected by the Dana Air crash and has launched a web portal for citizens to report concerns relating to flight safety. It also offers an advocacy service which will act as an organised voice, highlighting these concerns and calling for improvements in flight safety.
If you would like to speak in confidence to an expert regarding this accident, or any other aviation incident you were involved in, please contact a member of the aviation team on 0800 056 4110. The team will be able to advise you on the accident, the relevant law and the parties who may be liable.
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