When an accident happens, it is often a simple matter to determine who is at fault. Once that is established, a victim may then be able to seek remuneration for damages and suffering he or she incurred. However, when an accident involves a commercial airliner landing at an airport owned by the federal government, deciding who is to blame, and to what degree, can become very complicated. In this situation, which occurred last year in a province east of Ontario, class action litigation becomes just about the only way for affected individuals to gain compensation.
Early on Mar. 29, 2015, an Air Canada flight was arriving at Halifax Stanfield International Airport. The plane, an Airbus 320, landed short of the runway, bounced, and came back down on the edge of the runway before sliding more than half a kilometre. All aboard survived, though more than two dozen passengers were injured. The passengers reportedly waited nearly an hour on the tarmac before being taken to an unheated hanger.
Three passengers from the flight have launched a class action suit for pain and suffering they incurred as a result of the accident. The afflictions listed include anxiety, mild brain injury, stress, fear of flying and damaged teeth. All passengers on the flight have been notified, and each has the option to back out of the suit.
The defendants named in the suit are Air Canada, Nav Canada, the Halifax International Airport Authority and Airbus SAS, the aircraft’s manufacturer. A Nova Scotia Supreme Court Justice has also allowed Transport Canada to be named in the suit, as they are the landlord for the airport. The federal body had argued they should not be named, as passenger care does not fall under their mandate.
The companies and organizations named in this suit are all large entities. Attempting to procure a settlement from any of them would be a difficult task for an individual. By bringing a class action litigation as a group against all of them at once, it may be more likely that a satisfactory resolution can be found. To discuss launching a similar suit in Ontario, the best place to start would be with a law firm that has handled many such cases.
Source: princegeorgecitizen.com, “N.S. jet crash lawsuit: Transport Canada included in class-action certification”, Dec. 13, 2016