Skip to main content

Nigeria crash victim's husband sues Boeing, engine maker, pilot's estate

By Mike M. Ahlers, CNN
updated 9:17 AM EDT, Fri June 8, 2012
Rescue workers remove a victim of Sunday's plane crash in a Lagos, Nigeria, residential area on Monday, June 4. All 153 people aboard were killed. Rescue workers remove a victim of Sunday's plane crash in a Lagos, Nigeria, residential area on Monday, June 4. All 153 people aboard were killed.
HIDE CAPTION
Deadly plane crash in Nigeria
Deadly plane crash in Nigeria
Deadly plane crash in Nigeria
Deadly plane crash in Nigeria
Deadly plane crash in Nigeria
Deadly plane crash in Nigeria
Deadly plane crash in Nigeria
Deadly plane crash in Nigeria
Deadly plane crash in Nigeria
Deadly plane crash in Nigeria
Deadly plane crash in Nigeria
Deadly plane crash in Nigeria
Deadly plane crash in Nigeria
Deadly plane crash in Nigeria
Deadly plane crash in Nigeria
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Pratt & Whitney says it's "cooperating fully with investigating authorities"
  • David Chukwunonso Allison's wife, Joy, died in the plane crash Sunday in Nigeria
  • His lawsuit alleges the plane and its engines were defective
  • Before the crash, the pilot had issued a mayday saying both engines had failed

Washington (CNN) -- A Nigerian man whose wife was among 153 people killed Sunday when an MD-83 aircraft crashed in Lagos, Nigeria, has filed suit against the manufacturer of the plane and its engines, and against the estate of the American who was piloting the aircraft.

In a 56-page lawsuit, David Chukwunonso Allison alleges that the plane and its engines were defective and "unreasonably dangerous," leading to the death of his wife of two years, Joy Allison.

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, names the Boeing Co. and its subsidiary, McDonnell Douglas Corp., as well as engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney Canada Corp. and United Technologies Corp. It also names the estate of Peter Waxtan of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the pilot of the plane.

Dana Air Flight 992 slammed into a two-story apartment building in Lagos' Iju-Ishaga district, killing all 153 people on board and at least 10 people on the ground. Nine Americans were among those killed, the U.S. State Department said.

Lagos residents tell of chaotic scene
Plane demolishes Nigerian neighborhood
Inspecting planes, preventing disaster
Lagos witness: 'Plane was still burning'

At a news conference Thursday in Lagos, Dana Air CEO Jacky Hathiramani said, "There are absolutely no words to accurately express our grief and sorrow over this tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers remain with the families and friends of the departed, the Iju-Ishaga community and all Nigerians in this difficult time. We will continue to do our best to assist them in every way possible."

Pratt & Whitney said it wouldn't comment amid an ongoing investigation but "is cooperating fully with investigating authorities."

"We are deeply saddened by the lives lost in the recent Dana Airlines incident. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of all those involved in this incident," the company said in a statement.

See also: Nigerians demand answers after crash

On the plane's final approach to Murtala Muhammed International Airport on Sunday, Waxtan issued a mayday call, saying the plane's two engines had failed. A National Transportation Safety Board investigator is assisting Nigerian officials to determine the cause of the crash. Such investigations typically take about a year.

While acknowledging that it is not yet known if the pilot, the aircraft, or some other factor was to blame, Allison's attorney Gary Robb said it was essential to file suit early so he could seek to have his investigators -- which include a former NTSB investigator -- inspect wreckage at the scene, and to place the case at the beginning of the lawsuits. Cases are heard in the order they are filed, Robb said, and David Allison "didn't want to be No.153; he wanted to be No.1," Robb said.

"Ultimately, it may turn out that the pilot did everything possible and was not at fault. But these are things that the court system is charged with finding out," Robb said. "What we do know with absolute certainty is that Joy Allison, David's wife, was not a fault."

The suit seeks unspecified damages and requests a jury trial.

Robb said Joy Allison worked for the Federal Express licensed office in Lagos, and her husband was with the Nigerian Brewing Co., which distributes Heineken beer products. They had a 1-year-old daughter.

Inquiries by CNN to Boeing for comment were not immediately returned.

CNN's Vladimir Duthiers contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:26 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Advocates say the exam includes unnecessarily invasive and irrelevant procedures -- like a so-called "two finger" test.
updated 7:09 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Supplies of food, clothing and fuel are running short in Damascus and people are going hungry as the civil war drags on.
updated 1:01 PM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Supporters of Richard III want a reconstruction of his head to bring a human aspect to a leader portrayed as a murderous villain.
updated 10:48 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Robert Fowler spent 130 days held hostage by the same al Qaeda group that was behind the Algeria massacre. He shares his experience.
updated 12:07 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
The relationship is, once again, cold enough to make Obama's much-trumpeted "reset" in Russian-U.S. relations seem thoroughly off the rails.
Ten years on, what do you think the Iraq war has changed in you, and in your country? Send us your thoughts and experiences.
updated 7:15 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Musician Daniela Mercury has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide over a career span of nearly 30 years.
Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
updated 7:06 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
updated 7:37 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
That galaxy far, far away is apparently bigger than first thought. The "Star Wars" franchise will get two spinoff movies, Disney announced.
updated 7:27 PM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.
ADVERTISEMENT