A wrongful death lawsuit was filed yesterday in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois on behalf of the family of an airline employee who perished in the fiery crash of a Boeing 747 cargo plane outside Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan on April 29, 2013.
The victim, Gary P. Stockdale, was a mechanic for National Airlines who was aboard the flight when it crashed shortly after takeoff. The suit was filed by Chicago-based Nolan Law Group which is also representing the families of Jamie Lee Brokaw and Rinku Summan, pilots for National Airlines who were among the seven men killed in the crash.
Video of the crash captured on a vehicle dash cam went viral after being posted on the internet through the Live Leaks website.
At the time of the crash, the plane was transporting cargo that included five Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles weighing nearly 80 tons which were on pallets in the main cargo area of the plane. Government investigators have reported that it is likely a shift in the cargo from one of the vehicles breaking loose from its restraints that resulted in the crash.
The suit alleges that the accident aircraft was unreasonably dangerous and unfit for the transport of high density, rolling cargo and that Boeing’s manuals lacked sufficient limitations and warnings related to the transportation of such cargo. The suit further alleges that the airplane’s cargo restraint system was faulty, that it was improperly assembled by Boeing during its conversion from a passenger to a cargo aircraft, and that the instructions on the use of the cargo restraint system were inadequate.
Well-known as an aviation law firm, Nolan Law Group has extensive experience in major air cargo crash litigation having represented crew members and families of crew members in accidents involving Fine Air at Miami Airport in August 1997, Emery Worldwide near Sacramento in February 2000, and most recently the Kalitta Air Boeing 747 crash near Bogota, Colombia in July 2008. The firm has also been active in other crash claims from Afghanistan including a previous National Airlines crash near Kabul in October 2010, and the successful resolution of claims arising from a fatal helicopter accident at Kandahar Air Field in July 2009.