Dana Plane Crash: Victim husband sues United States’ craft manufacturer

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Dana Air Craft

The husband of Joy Allison, one of the victims of last Sunday’s plane crash in Lagos,  David,  has filed a law suit in the United States against the United States maker of the Air craft.

Joy Allison died in the Dana flight 0992 which crashed in Lagos on Sunday June 3, this year.

The husband  filed a lawsuit in a United States court on Thursday, blaming the accident, in part, on the US companies that designed, manufactured and sold the MD 83 plane.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Allisons by Gary Robb, a Kansas City, Missouri-based aviation attorney in a US District Court in Chicago.

He  also named Chicago-based Boeing Company, which bought the McDonnell-Douglas manufacturer of the plane, and Connecticut-based engine-maker Pratt & Whitney in the 56-page lawsuit.

The law suit was predicated on the statements of Aviation Minister Stella Oduah, that the flight’s captain had radioed the airport as the aircraft approached and declared an emergency, saying both of the MD-83?s engines had failed, before the eventual crash.

“That is always incredibly significant information,” Robb said. He stressed that “Engines do not fail unless something goes dramatically wrong.”

Although no details were given, the suit claims the Pratt & Whitney “engines used a defective and unreasonably dangerous design”.

Robb conceded that pinpointing a precise cause of the alleged engine failure would take time but he said filing the suit now would help ensure he and his own investigators had legal recourse to request the plane’s flight voice and data recorders, and other evidence.

A statement released on Thursday by Pratt & Whitney, responding to the lawsuit, conveyed condolence but was silent about specific allegations.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of all those involved in this incident” the statement read.

It however assured that “Pratt & Whitney is co-operating fully with investigating authorities and we are unable to offer any further comment as the investigation is ongoing.”

Joy Allison was among the 153 passengers aboard the ill-fated flight. She was, until her death, living and working in Lagos with her husband and 1-year-old daughter.

Bodies of the crash victims are still undergoing identification process at hospitals across Lagos, as most of them were burnt beyond recognition

Meanwhile, as the nation comes to terms with the tragedy,  many relatives of  the crash victims are facing long pains and lingering anxiety as the bodies of the may take more weeks and even  months to be released for burial.

According to  sources at Lagos State University Teaching Hospital,  before the identity of the  bodies of those who died could be released, authorities claim the identities  needed to be ascertained and this will not be easy as many mutilated bodies are to be flown abroad for DNA test and identiry confirmation.

Many  families may be forced to wait to wait for between n 31 to 45 Days before they can be collected.  The painful suspense however has drawn the attention of Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola who has appealed for more patience so that the DNA matter could be dealt with.
LASUTH Chief Medical Director Professor Wale Oke said samples collected for Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) will be examined abroad a after which the result would be released.

Oke however noted that if the processes are not followed and families are given wrong bodies,  the hospital would not be liable to any litigation.

He explained: “Now, the problem we have is with the bodies that are unidentifiable because if you don’t get the genetic markings, you can say A belongs to B. So, those would probably take up to six weeks because we are going to send tissues outside the country for analyses,” he said.

Their DNA, Oke noted, will be sent abroad in batches. This will include those of the unidentifiable and Dana Air crew before families can be allowed to take their bodies.

He said this was why people were a little bit agitated, adding that the hospital had mandated that certain papers be sorted out before the actual process started. “For example, enough DNA forms have to be printed so that when we start we won’t stop,” he said.

On why the process was delayed, Oke said, there are issues surrounding some of the bodies, which had to be attended to, adding that the pathologists were not immediately present to sort out the issues.

“Prof John Obafunwa, who is the Forensic Pathologist and Chief Medical Examiner of Lagos State, had to be at the interview but wanted to supervise the DNA himself. So, we had to wait to sort those out before going for the DNA. Now, the DNA process has started and what it involves is that we are asking the father and mother of the deceased to come so that we take the specimen