Court hears evidence in Swissair lawsuit
Last Updated Thu, 17 Jun 2004 11:04:55
HALIFAX - A judge will hear evidence Thursday to determine whether Swissair can be held responsible for psychological harm suffered by a former Nova Scotia sailor who helped in the recovery of bodies after the 1998 crash.
Lorne Joudrey is suing the airline, saying he suffered severe mental and emotional distress from working 11 days on the recovery after Flight 111 crashed into St. Margaret's Bay on Sept. 2, 1998.
Lorne Joudrey (CP file photo)
Two hundred and twenty-nine people were killed in the crash.
Joudrey blames the airline for negligence causing the crash. Investigators later concluded that a spark in the cockpit wiring ignited surrounding flammable material and led to the crash.
The investigation found the flammability standards of the material used in the cockpit were inadequate and contributed to the spread of the fire.
Joudrey, who led one of the recovery teams from the HMCS Preserver, said he has experienced post-traumatic stress and depression because of the ordeal of recovering bodies.
He said the experience also cost him his family and his job.
Joudrey was a master seaman working as a steward at the time of the crash. The HMCS Preserver was the first military ship on the scene.
"I was in charge of one group and we picked through plane wreckage and had to take out all the skin, any kind of body material that was entangled in the wreckage," he told CBC News.
Joudrey said he wasn't affected by the experience until 30 days later.
But "when it hit, it hit," he said.
He said that one day a military doctor went into his office and found Joudrey curled up in the corner with no idea of who he was.
He said he suffered panic attacks and talked about the time he became sick from just the smell of jet fuel.
"I remember driving by a year later – driving by the Halifax airport – [and] having to pull over for just vomiting all over my vehicle – just from that quick whiff of that smell again," he said.
After two years of therapy, Joudrey was medically discharged from the service. His wife and two children left him two years later.
Joudrey is suing the airline for duty of care and is seeking compensation for what he says the crash cost him.
Written by CBC News Online staff
I feel for this person. I know what this tragedy has done to me personally- the constant panic attacks, the non-stop depression and feeling of hopelessness and if he is even feeling a quarter of this his life is ruined. swissair SHOULD be responsible- it was them (and a few others) that decided to install an entertainment system that clearly showed signs early on of being dangerous. I know that family members in the past have been irrate over rescue workers suing but that's never been the way I've felt about this even remotely.This message has been edited. Last edited by: BF,
Just wanted to add that I think criminal charges should be brought against those individuals that had anything to do with that entertainment system. They KNEW it was dangerous.
Court reserves decision in Swissair lawsuit
Last Updated Thu, 17 Jun 2004 21:57:16
HALIFAX - A judge has reserved his decision on whether a former Canadian sailor can sue Swissair over the crash of Flight 111 in 1998.
Lorne Joudrey left the navy after suffering port-traumatic stress after weeks of work recovering body parts from the ocean. In court, he described the difficult process of trying to identify the parts of the 289 people who died when the jumbo jet crashed off the Nova Scotia coast.
Lorne Joudrey (CP file photo)
Joudrey, a sailor onboard HMCS Preserver says he saw gruesome images and on one occasion, he says, a body bag he was carrying burst open, with human flesh and fluids spilling out over him.
"I spent 18 years in the navy and I don't know of any job where we had to do what we did," he said.
A month later, he says he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. Two years later, the military discharged him because he was unfit for duty. He's suing Swissair for psychological damages.
Joudrey wasn't alone in the search; there were hundreds of people involved from military personnel to local fishermen, but Joudrey is the only one suing Swissair.
His lawyer, Cathy Dalziel, says "he's had a difficult time emotionally since his experience."
Joudrey says he suing Swissair because it was the company's negligence that destroyed his life. "I'm divorced now. I lost my career. I'm here to start over."
A judge in Nova Scotia's Supreme Court will decide later this year whether the case can proceed.
I discussed this with Mark today and we both feel strongly that this man should be able to file a lawsuit against swissair despite many other's feelings to the contrary. No need to go into why we feel that way. I think the reasons are obvious. We both feel that swissair due to their negligence should have reimbursed Canada for the cost of the investigation and clean up of this terrible tragedy. It might make another airline think twice about installing a dangerous piece of crap (IFEN) on their aircraft. We would never want to see another family nor a community go through this horror again due to absolute greed.
And btw I am tired of seeing the press white wash what happened to swissair. Even the final report that was so determined not to lay blame on anyone (even if they were a criminal) said that the spark was on an entertainment system wiring. No matter how you read that report, the entertainment system was part of the initiating event. Had it not been there, there would NOT have been a crash. So yes, I think this man has a legitimate reason to sue this incredibly irresponsible airline.This message has been edited. Last edited by: BF,
I am new to this site and I am not a very savvy user yet so please pardon my random questions if they are not located in the proper section of the site. I lost my parents in the Swissair crash and I recently brought my one-year old daughter to Halifax. So, everything is fresh in my mind and heart again.
My question for you is if anyone has ever addressed what the passengers may have known or gone through from the time the fire started to the time of impact. I have read a few things here and there but until now, have never really been able to address the question. Now, I would like to know.
Any information would be much appreciated.
Cindy, I am very sorry about your parents being lost in this terrible tragedy. I lost my 16 yr. old daughter Tara. The only thing I can really tell you is that in the final report issued by the TSB last March, they mentioned that one passenger had put on a flotation jacket and I saw another article a few years back that said one passenger put on his prayer shawl. Unfortunately to be very honest with you, I think they were very aware of what was happening. Unfortunately my daughter was right in the front of the plane where the fire occurred. I find this a never ending nightmare. Again I am deeply sorry about your parents and I hope my answer hasn't upset you.
Well this was certainly a predictable outcome.
N.S. judge rejects sailor's suit against Swissair
Halifax "” A former Canadian sailor will not be allowed to sue Swissair for trauma he suffered following the crash of Flight 111 in 1998, a Nova Scotia Supreme Court judge ruled on Wednesday.
Lorne Joudrey, 40, had argued that the airline should compensate him for psychological damage that resulted from his role in the recovery operation in the days after the jet plunged into the ocean near Peggys Cove, N.S., killing all 229 people aboard.
In a ruling released Wednesday, Justice Arthur Pickup said that he sympathizes with Mr. Joudrey and the others involved in the rescue and recovery effort but that Swissair does not owe them compensation.
Mr. Joudrey's vessel, HMCS Preserver, was just minutes away when Flight 111 hit the water Sept. 2, 1998.
His usual job was supervising the ship's canteen, but he was also the head of a "casualty clearing" team. He spent weeks recovering the parts of the people who died.
Mr. Joudrey left the navy with post-traumatic stress. He later sued Swissair for psychological damages, saying the company's negligence destroyed his life.
The court was asked to determine if the airline owed a "duty of care" to the man from Timberlea, N.S.
Swissair denied negligence in the suit, saying it was not reasonably "foreseeable" that military personnel would suffer psychiatric illnesses as a result of the recovery operation.
The airline's lawyer argued that Mr. Joudrey should not be able to sue because the events that so deeply affected him took place during a recovery mission, not a rescue mission.
Hundreds of people, ranging from military personnel to local fishermen, took part in the recovery operations. Mr. Joudrey was the only one to sue Swissair.
Judge throws out Swissair lawsuit
Last Updated Wed, 07 Jul 2004 14:48:52
HALIFAX - A former Canadian sailor won't be allowed to sue Swissair over the crash of Flight 111 in 1998, a judge ruled on Wednesday.
IN DEPTH: Swissair Flight 111
Lorne Joudrey, then a sailor aboard HMCS Preserver, says he suffered emotional and psychological damage while he helped recover the bodies of people killed in the crash.
Nova Scotia Supreme Court Justice Arthur Pickup said in a ruling on Wednesday that he sympathizes with Joudrey and others who shared his trauma, but threw out his case against Swissair.
Joudrey had wanted to sue the airline, claiming its negligence caused the crash and ruined his life.
Swissair Flight 111 crashed off Peggy's Cove, N.S., on Sept. 2, 1998. All 229 people on board were killed.
Joudrey and hundreds of other people, military and civilian, worked for weeks to recover the shattered bodies of the dead.
He's the only one to sue the airline.
A month after the cleanup was over, Joudrey was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. He was discharged from the navy as unfit for duty.
Thursday, July 8, 2004 Back The Halifax Herald Limited
Lorne Joudrey developed post-traumatic stress after the recovery effort.
Ex-sailor can't sue Swissair
Judge rules airline doesn't owe Joudrey 'duty of care' for psychological damage
By DAVENE JEFFREY Staff Reporter and The Canadian Press
A former Canadian navy sailor will not be allowed to sue Swissair for trauma he suffered following the crash of Flight 111 in 1998, a judge ruled Wednesday.
Lorne Joudrey, 40, had argued the airline should compensate him for psychological damage resulting from his role in the recovery operation in the days after the jet crashed off Peggys Cove, killing all 229 aboard.
In a ruling released Wednesday, Justice Arthur Pickup of Nova Scotia Supreme Court said he sympathizes with the Timberlea man and others involved in the recovery.
But he said Swissair does not owe them compensation.
"The efforts of Mr. Joudrey and countless other Nova Scotians subsequent to this tragic event can never be denied. However, the facts of this case do not provide a remedy for Mr. Joudrey."
Mr. Joudrey's vessel, HMCS Preserver, was just minutes away when Flight 111 hit the water Sept. 2, 1998.
His usual job was canteen supervisor, but he also headed a "casualty clearing" team. The judge's decision said Mr. Joudrey spent six days separating body and skin parts from debris for collection and analysis.
Mr. Joudrey left the navy, ending an 18-year career after suffering post-traumatic stress. He later sued Swissair, saying the company's negligence destroyed his life. The court was asked to determine whether the airline owed him a "duty of care."
"I find there is no duty of care owed to him," Justice Pickup wrote.
"There is no connection whatsoever between Mr. Joudrey and Swissair or its victims, on the evidence. He was not present at the accident scene."
Swissair denied negligence, saying it was not reasonably "foreseeable" that military personnel would suffer psychiatric illness from the recovery operation.
Justice Pickup agreed with that argument.
"Because of the nature of its activities, the Armed Forces regularly trains its members to deal with armed conflict, war and casualties. They should be expected to have a 'robustness' to deal with all types of emergency situations," the decision reads.
The airline's lawyer argued Mr. Joudrey should not be able to sue because the events that so deeply affected him took place during a recovery mission, not a rescue mission.
Hundreds of people, ranging from military personnel to fishermen, were involved in the recovery. Mr. Joudrey was the only one who sued.
Mr. Joudrey is now a commissionaire with Halifax Regional Police.
Neither he nor his lawyer could be reached Wednesday.
Amazing how these judges always side with these thugs.This message has been edited. Last edited by: BF,
Thursday, July 8, 2004
Ex-sailor's Swissair trauma suit denied
By Andrea MacDonald
A Nova Scotia Supreme Court judge says he feels for Swissair rescue worker Lorne Joudrey, but the legal system is no place to go for help.
Joudrey sued the airline for mental distress he says he suffered from picking up body parts after the Sept. 2, 1998, crash near Peggy's Cove, which killed all 229 people on board.
A former crew member of HMCS Preserver, the 40-year-old former sailor testified in court last month that he was so traumatized he eventually had to leave the Canadian Armed Forces.
The Preserver was just minutes away when Flight 111, bound for Geneva from New York City, hit the water. Joudrey was part of a team assigned to go through the wreckage and identify body parts.
At issue was whether Swissair Transport Company owed a so-called duty of care to the Timberlea man, and would thus have to pay him damages for mental problems.
Joudrey said he had an emotional breakdown after the six-day recovery operation and suffered psychological damage. At one point during the mission, fluid spilled out of a body bag onto him.
He also testified about finding a severed ear and trying to match body parts.
In a written decision released yesterday, Justice Arthur Pickup rejected Joudrey's lawsuit against the company.
He said Swissair couldn't have reasonably foreseen that Joudrey, who was trained and employed in recovery operations, would suffer psychological harm.
The judge noted Joudrey had served in Bosnia and had received first-aid training at least 10 times during his 18 years in the navy. He testified that he'd also received training in firefighting, casualty retrieval and in handling hazardous substances.
Soldiers and sailors should have a "robustness" to deal with all types of emergency situations because of their training and the nature of Armed Forces activities, said Pickup.
Ruling in the ex-sailor's favour would have opened the floodgates, the judge added.
"If a duty of care were found, all persons who work in rescue and recovery operations will be owed a duty of care to avoid psychiatric injury by all persons whose actions harm another," Pickup wrote.
"This duty of care would extend to ambulance drivers, relief workers, doctors, nurses and many others engaged in such activity."
Barbara, thank you for posting the above articles for us to peruse. It makes my blood boil that the Canadian Supreme Court denied Mr. Joudrey his absolute right to pursue his lawsuit against the parasites at the former Swissair. The court decision angers and ashames me as a Canadian.
Some quotes from the articles:
"Swissair denied negligence (seems to me they have yet to assume gross negligence themselves)
in the suit, saying it was not reasonably forseeable that military personnel would suffer psychiatric illnesses as a result of the recovery operation".
I beg to differ. First off, whom did the SR legal team consult in military circles to obtain this stand against the claimant? Secondly, I personally know of (through a friend, the wife of one) two Canadian Armed Forces personnel who both suffered severe post-traumatic stress syndrome after serving their tour of duty in Bosnia in the 1990's. These military men and women who serve are human beings, and there is only so much horror that the human mind and conscious can withstand when faced with horrific sights such as human remains, whether the deaths were the result of battle or "accident". In Swissair's case, I use the term "preventable incident". Both men took long leaves of absence from their duties, and one is still undergoing treatment, as are many Canadian soldiers who served there, and in other war torn parts of the globe. The same severe post tramautic syndrome is sufffered by military personnel throughout the globe. One has only to source articles and information pertaining to the horrors suffered by American servicemen and women during Vietnam, the Gulf war, and other areas where troops were deployed. Swissair has no right, no right whatsoever to make this pompous, insensitive, false claim. It is a slap in the face to Mr. Joudrey.
"The airlines lawyer argued that Mr. Joudrey should not be able to sue because the events that so deeply affected him took place during a recovery mission, not a rescue mission".
Can someone please explain what exactly this
utter crap means? Now, I may be somewhat niave, but I would assume that a recovery mission as opposed to a rescue mission would represent a much higher degree/level of horrific sights and images, ones that would be embedded in the eyes and minds of those involved in the recovery process. Perhaps deatiled, DETAILED photos of the SR111 recovery operation should have been placed in front of the eyes of the boys in Geneva, so they could see for themselves the hell and horror THEY created through their bloody incompetence and negligence. These photos should have been held up to their closed, yet forced opened eyes, long enough for the CEO and board members of SR to have these atrocious images forever branded into their minds, so they would never, ever sleep well again, so they would feel even a fraction of what the SR111 families and recovery workers have to live with, every moment of every day for the rest of their lives. Perhaps the same said photos should have been placed in front of the eyes of the judge presiding over Mr. Joudrey's hearing for right to claim. Mr. Joudrey is slapped in the face a second time.
"But he (Justice Arthur Pickup of Nova Scotia Supreme Court) said Swissair does not owe them compensation".
More crap from the ill-informed. YES, right honourable Justice Pickup, Swissair DOES owe compensation to Mr. Joudrey, and all other recovery workers who have gone through almost as much hell as the families of the victims.
YES, Swissair owed them compensation until
the company was bled dry. Then, your honour,
these men and women had the right to pick at the bones of Swissair after being bled dry.
Third slap in the face for Mr. Joudrey.
"The efforts of Mr. Joudrey and countless other Nova Scotians subsequent to this tragic event
(tragic preventable event) can never be denied."
Nice, empty words that don't cost SR a cent or bring any liability to the CEO and board.
"However, the facts of this case do not provide a remedy for Mr. Joudrey".
Of COURSE they don't provide a remedy for Mr. Joudrey or others. What in hell could? What the facts of the case, a case that should have been allowed to continue DO provide is a small degree, a very small degree of righting a wrong which was foeced upon Mr. Joudrey through no fault of his own. Events and subsequent effects brought about by, again, the gross negligence of the former Swissair in their decision to implement the deathtrap IFE's aboard their fleet.
I could go on, but I'll refrain for the moment.
I wish I had more time to present a more viable argument on Mr. Joudrey's behalf, but I think my point is clear: he was denied justice. He is, and continues to be, like the SR family members, a victim of corporate greed and incompetence (understatement).
J.O, This case just galls me. It's not unlike the decisions made by Judge Giles of the U.S District court in PA who heard the swissair 111 case. He was almost 100% against the family members who lost loved ones in the crash in most every decision he handed down. This airline IMHO has literally gotten away with murder. I agree with all your points regarding the Joudrey lawsuit. I really feel terrible for this man.
I haven't read all the posts but I read a few. Cindy, I'm sorry for your loss. I was on Preserver at the time and I remember everything very clearly. I was in the first boat to touch the water.I saw things that I will never forget. I have been diagnosed with PTSD, I'm still serving but it's difficult. I'm sure it continues to be difficult for you and all the familys affected. I personnelly think that sueing Swissair just makes more of a mess of things. Veterans Affairs compensates individuals and to seek more is wrong.Again, Im sorry for your losses.
Suing may make a mess of things, but since organizations like the FAA won't do anything somebody HAS to do something.
"Those Who Don't Learn From The Past Are Doomed To Repeat It."
Hi Murray! I agree with you.
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