...While Courts Look At Consequences Of Failure

  • E-Mail this Article
  • View Printable Article
  • Text size:

    • A
    • A
    • A

The potentially deadly consequences of lightly staffed control centers will undoubtedly get plenty of attention as the Swiss court system begins its civil and criminal assessments of the fallout from a midair collision of a Russian airliner and a DHL cargo jet on July 2, 2002. An American law firm has filed suit on behalf of 30 families of the more than 70 people killed in the crash. Swiss authorities, after a year of psychiatric assessment, have also charged Vitaly Kaloev with manslaughter for allegedly stabbing to death the controller who was working the two planes at the time. Kaloev, whose wife and two children died in the crash, allegedly stabbed Peter Nilson to death at his home and in front of his wife on Feb. 24, 2004. Kaloev has been under psychiatric assessment since the killing and says he can't remember the attack. Doctors recently decided his mental state had stabilized enough for him to stand trial. Skyguide, the private company in charge of Swiss airspace, has already admitted blame for the chain of events that led to the collision. It settled with 43 families and reportedly paid up to $150,000 in compensation. However, 30 other families have hired the American law firm Podhurst to represent them in the suit.