The families of three of seven crew members who perished in a 2013 cargo airplane crash in Afghanistan were awarded $115.75 million by a Cook County, Illinois jury on June 30, 2017.
The incident occurred on a National Airlines 747 cargo airplane in Bagram, Afghanistan on April 29, 2013. The crash itself was captured on a dash cam video that went viral over the internet shortly after the accident occurred.
The plaintiffs were represented by Nolan Law Group of Chicago, Illinois and Katzman, Lampert & McClune of Troy, Michigan, both of which specialize in aviation litigation.
The defendant was National Air Cargo, Inc., an affiliated company of National Airlines, which supplied vehicles for transport on a Boeing 747-400 for the U.S. Marine Corp.
According to a news release issued by the plaintiffs’ lawyers, evidence showed there was an insufficient number of restraints or tie down points to restrain the vehicles, which contributed to the crash and the demise of the seven crew members.
The jury awarded the estate of Captain Brad Hasler a total of $47.25 million in damages. The estate of First Officer Jamie Brokaw was awarded $43 million, and the estate of Captain Jeremy Lipka, an off-duty pilot in the cockpit, was awarded $25.5 million. Each of these awards included an amount of $5 million for the shock and fright each of the men experienced from the time of takeoff until the time of the airplane’s impact with the ground.
“The jury’s verdict sent a message that our society still values human life and safety over the pursuit of increased corporate profit,” said Donald Nolan, who along with Thomas Routh of Nolan Law Group represented the estates of Jamie Brokaw and Jeremy Lipka. The estate of Brad Hasler was represented by David Katzman and Bruce Lampert of Katzman, Lampert & McClune in Troy, Michigan.
Trials in the cases for the remaining four crew members are expected to be set shortly.