Chicago, IL.- Donald Nolan and James Crouse of the Chicago-based Nolan Law Group filed a lawsuit yesterday against The Boeing Company and others for the wrongful deaths of passengers of a Greek Army helicopter that crashed into the Aegean Sea on September 11, 2004, killing all aboard including Petros VII, Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa.
On September 11, 2004, the Greek Army was transporting the Patriarch and other Greek Orthodox dignitaries aboard the Boeing CH-47SD “Super Chinook” to Mt. Athos, considered one of the holiest sites in Orthodox Christianity, in order to attend the ordination of a bishop. While nearing Mt. Athos, the helicopter went out of control and crashed into the sea, fatally injuring all twelve passengers and five crew members.
“The investigation into the cause of this crash has revealed evidence of mechanical failures and attempts by the crew to isolate a hydraulic problem,” said Donald Nolan. “It certainly seems that this crew kept working to the end and did everything possible to prevent this tragedy, but the problem was too great to overcome.”
Defendants named in the suit are The Boeing Company, Honeywell International, Inc., and Goodrich Pump & Engine Control Systems, Inc. The lawsuit charges that the crash was caused by mechanical failure involving the helicopter’s engine control and hydraulic systems. In addition to the family of the Patriarch, Nolan Law Group represents the families of Archdeacon Nectarios of Madagascar; Chrysostomos Archbishop and Metropolitan of Carthage; and the Patriarch’s brother, Georgis Papapetrou.
According to the New York Times, Petros VII, Patriarch of Alexandria, “was considered second in rank [in Greek Orthodoxy] only to the ecumenical patriarch in Istanbul…and spoke passionately about the need for mutual respect and understanding between Orthodoxy and Islam.”
The Greek military stated that visibility was good at the time of the crash and the helicopter had been in service in Greece for approximately one and a half years prior to the accident. The lawsuit alleges product liability and negligence against manufacturers of the helicopter and individual parts.