Plane-crash condo owners sue

A group of homeowners is suing the estate of an elderly pilot, Transport Canada and the doctor who certified the pilot before he died when his light plane slammed into a Richmond, B.C., highrise.

Pilot, Transport Canada and medical doctor named in lawsuit

A group of homeowners is suing the estate of an elderly pilot, Transport Canada and the doctor who certified the pilot before he died when his light plane slammed into a Richmond, B.C., highrise.

Fourteen residents of the Rosario Gardens condominium building have launched two separate lawsuits, two years after they were forced from their homes by the crash on Oct. 19, 2007.

Pilot Peter Garrison was 82 years old at the time and the Transportation Safety Board named his state of health as a likely contributing factor in the crash and raised concerns about aging pilots in its recent report on the accident.

The suits allege the federal Transport Ministry was negligent in its certification and licensing of the aircraft and in permitting Garrison to continue flying when it should have known he wasn't capable.

The unnamed doctor who conducted Garrison's medical exam allowing him to keep flying is also named for allegedly failing to uncover all of the pilot's health problems, including a previous heart attack and diabetes.

One apartment unit was demolished in the crash and there was extensive water damage to the 15-storey residential building when the fire suppression system went off, forcing residents out for several months during repairs.

Seventeen other claims were filed in B.C. Small Claims Court on Thursday against the estate of Garrison.