Thursday, December 23, 1999


PHILADELPHIA -- Arthur Alan Wolk, the lawyer and aviation expert who immediately revealed the flaws in the conduct of the flight crew of Swissair 111 and the serious electrical safety defects in the MD-11 within hours of the crash, has filed his first lawsuit for a victim of the crash, a New Jersey resident, who lost her husband.

The lawsuit, which seeks damages of over $500,000,000, including compensatory and punitive damages against Swissair, Delta Air Lines, Boeing and McDonnell Douglas, claims that Swissair improperly maintained the aircraft and failed to provide adequate training and information to the pilots so they would recognize the seriousness of an in-flight fire, which they could not possibly hope to fight in the air.

Wolk also faults Boeing and McDonnell Douglas for knowing that the aircraft had wiring deficiencies and flammable insulation, and failing to provide the flight crews with either a means to fight the fire or isolating various systems so that the crew would not be flying blind as a result of electrical failures as a complication of the fire. Wolk also faults Boeing and McDonnell Douglas for failing to provide adequate instructions and manuals to the flight crew so that they would recognize immediately the seriousness of the problem and their complete inability to deal with it.

Finally, Wolk faults the flight crew for apparently failing to know where they were and how close they were to the nearest airport so they could effectively get the aircraft on the ground before a fire made control impossible.

Wolk will be at the forefront of the lawsuits arising out of Swissair 111, and has been involved in most major airline crashes as an attorney for the victims.