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Air Algerie crash class-action suit filed in Quebec court

07/03/2015 01:59 EDT | Updated 07/03/2016 05:59 EDT
A class-action lawsuit against Air Algerie was filed at the Montreal courthouse on Friday, led by a Quebec resident who lost his wife and two sons in the crash.

Mamadou Zoungrana bought his wife and two sons tickets for Air Algerie Flight AH5017 in what was meant to be the first leg in their trip to join him for a new life in Gatineau, Que., after two years apart.

The plane, which originated in Ouagadougou and was bound for Algiers, crashed in Mali in July 2014 — killing all of its 116 passengers and staff aboard.

The documents filed in the class-action lawsuit indicate that many of the families of those who died are from Quebec, Mali, Burkina Faso and France. However, not all of the family members who could be involved in the suit are known because passengers came from at least a dozen countries.

Allegations and damages

The lawsuit alleges that Air Algerie pilots intentionally chose a flight path that passed through the eye of a tropical storm. It also alleges the pilots failed to perform necessary measures to try to fly the plane to safety, including activating the plane's de-icing mechanisms.

A French newspaper on Thursday reported that a judicial investigation has revealed that the crash was the result of a "series of errors," chief among them the failure to use the plane's anti-icing system.

Zoungrana and his co-plaintiffs are claiming moral, psychological and traumatic damages, as well as financial loss and the loss of a loved one.

''The goal of a class-action request is to facilitate [an amicable settlement] but also to know the truth [about what happened]," said lawyer Gérard Samet.

Zoungrana is originally from Burkina Faso. He said he had been working as a nurse's assistant at Papineau Hospital in Gatineau as part of a plan to bring his family to Canada. 

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