Nova Scotia

Air Canada Flight 624 class action statement filed in Halifax

A statement of claim has been filed in a proposed class action lawsuit over the crash landing of Air Canada Flight 624 at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport last month.

Statement of claim alleges Nav Canada 'should have known the conditions were unsafe for landing'

After crashing, the Airbus A320, which had flown from Toronto, slid another 335 metres along the runway. There were 133 passengers and five crew members on board. (Reuters)

A statement of claim has been filed in a proposed class action lawsuit over the crash landing of Air Canada Flight 624 at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport last month.

AC624 crash landed on the early hours of March 29. The plane was travelling from Toronto to Halifax carrying 133 passengers and five crew members.

The statement of claim for the class action was filed by Halifax-based MacGillivray Injury and Insurance Law

"We're looking to find out as much as we can about the precise details of what factors contributed to the accident," said Jamie MacGillivray, the lawyer who filed the statement of claim.

"We hope to obtain that information through document disclosure and having a chance to discover question under oath the people involved in the accident."

The document names the Halifax International Airport Authority, NAV Canada, Air Canada, the captain and first officer of the flight as defendants in the class action.

The allegations made in the statement of claim have not been proven in court and the class action has not been certified.

'Inadequate instrument landing system'

The Transportation Safety Board's federal investigation into the crash landing is ongoing.

The class action lawsuit is seeking damages to cover every class member, which the firm is estimating will total about $12 million. 

The statement of claim says the first officer and captain, who have not been named publicly, failed to "take reasonable care to avoid the crash."

It also says the Halifax International Airport Authority chose to keep the runway open "when it knew or ought to have known that was not reasonably safe to do so" and it chose to operate the runway "with an inadequate instrument landing system."

Nav Canada, the statement claims, was negligent in instructing the crew of AC624 to land on the runway when Halifax air traffic control "knew or should have known the conditions were unsafe for landing."

The lead plaintiff proposed for the class action is a 54-year-old man from Pictou County.

He has musculoskeletal system damage "including, bruising, tearing, straining and damaging of the nerves, muscles, tendons and ligaments" and psychological trauma, according to the statement of claim.

Mass tort claim to be filed Tuesday

MacGillivray said his firm plans to file a mass tort claim in the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia on Tuesday, in addition to the class action.

"The class action has one representative and if it's ever certified, that representative would represent all passengers on the plane. But if it's not certified, our fallback is to have a single action with all 20 plaintiffs named individually," he said.

"The advantage of the mass tort is that we don't have to wait for it to be certified in order to get document disclosure and begin discoveries."

Right now, MacGillivray said he has been retained by 20 clients for the mass tort claim.


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