TORONTO— Families of some of the 329 people killed in the crash of an AirIndia jumbo jet sought $150 million damages Friday in suits charging a bomb ripped open the plane and accusing officials of negligence.
Toronto attorneys filed claims against AirIndia and Canadian Officials for relatives of about 250 of the victims, including at least 12 US. Residents on the jetliner.
“We had four briefcases full of documents,” said one lawyer, Nair Waterman.
The cause of the crash has never been determined, but there has been speculation a bomb explosion in the plane caused the crash.
The lawsuits claim the airline and Canadian agencies were negligent or failed to carry out certain duties.
“We say the plane came out of the sky as a result of an explosion.” said Donald Brown, whose law firm represents relatives of about 30 victims.
Several claims say the defendants failed “to take all reasonable steps to ensure that hazardous goods, such as explosives” were not on board.
Those claims are related to reports that a man who signed his name “L. Singh” checked baggage onto from a CP flight onto the AirIndia flight, but did not board the plane that crashed.
The claims were filed in the Federal Court of Canada, the Supreme Court of Ontario and the Superior Court of Quebec:
The suits named AirIndia, Canada’s solicitor general, the he a of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, and airport managers in Vancouver and Toronto and Montreal, as respondents. The statements had to be filed before Monday to beat Canadian law restrictions saying action against a public body must be made within six months.
Catherine Collins of the Pate1son MacDougall law firm, which represents AirIndia, said a decision has not been made on whether to fight the claims or settle out of court. The airline has agreed to pay some relatives a maximum of $75,000, she said.
Article extracted from this publication >> December 27, 1985