Aviation Lawsuit in Saskatchewan
The second largest aviation group of a remote province in Canada known as Saskatchewan, West Wind Aviation and its majority shareholder Athabasca Basin Development are facing a lawsuit filed by the victims of a crash in Fond du Lac in northern Saskatchewan. The passengers aboard the fateful plane accuse the airline and their staff of gross negligence. They have alleged that the airline has either by commission or omission caused harm to the passengers. The original plaintiffs are six of the passengers who were in the crashed plane. Many passengers were injured during the crash and one passenger died.
The West Wind Aviation flight took off from the airstrip at Fond du Lac and immediately went down after takeoff, crashing on the snowy terrain on the 13th of December. All passengers did manage to escape the wreckage. Seven were severely injured and had to be hospitalized. One of the seven passengers was the nineteen year old Arson Fern Jr. who succumbed to his injuries. The lawyer for the plaintiffs, Tony Merchant stated while filing the lawsuit that they can establish negligence on the part of the airline and its staff. Parents of the deceased Arson Fern Jr., Janey Fern and Arson Fern Sr. are among the original plaintiffs. Other plaintiffs are Carey Clayton Mercredi, Dakota McDonald and Tiffany Hanson.
It will be a class action lawsuit, bearing in mind the number of plaintiffs and the repercussions the case may have for flyers in general and for West Wind Aviation in particular. The plaintiffs have alleged that the airline loaded too many passengers and cargo on the plane, which made it too heavy to take off in ordinary circumstances. The lawsuit also accuses the airline for operating on an airstrip that is not long enough. Apparently, the airstrip was not properly deiced and that the immediate surroundings within the airport were not well maintained or conducive for safe operations. All the allegations point towards negligence and complacence of the airline. It has also come to light that the airline responded to the crash in a lackadaisical manner. They did not contact the emergency officials as fast as they should have when the plane had already crashed.
There is no official response from the airline or its majority stakeholder. There are lots of claims being made by the plaintiffs and the personal injury lawyer representing them. Apparently, there are witnesses who claim to have heard flight crew mentioning the plane was excessively heavy. These claims will obviously have counterclaims and everything has to be proven in court. The aviation industry in general has been vulnerable to lawsuits and in many cases for genuine reasons. The aviation industry is not particularly popular for being considerably sensitive towards the needs of passengers. There have been many lawsuits citing discrimination, ill treatment, misdemeanor and a plethora of technical shortcomings. From failing regulations to being outright discriminatory, airlines have often been taken to court and many cases have been turned into class action lawsuits given the implications for flyers.