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General News of Friday, 21 December 2012

Source: 3gmediaonline.com

Families Of Plane Crash Victims Hire US Lawyer


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New York, USA

After much frustration with the airline and its insurers, the families of those killed in the Allied Air Cargo Plane crash in Ghana on June 2, 2012 have hired John K. Akpalu, a high-powered Harvard-trained US and Ghanaian lawyer with expertise in insurance law to fight for compensation for them.

John Akpalu, who has been practicing insurance law and litigation in New York, previously worked as defense counsel for insurance carriers including the City of New York and the New York City Transit Authority. He is a member of both the New York and Ghana Bars and has a satellite office in Accra.

In an interview in his New York office, Lawyer Akpalu lamented the reluctance of the airline and its insurers to deal fairly with the victims’ families. Noting that some of these victims were the breadwinners of their families, he said: “I am sure that the owners will put in for millions of dollars in insurance claims to cover damage to the aircraft, yet they and their insurers want to devalue the lives of their victims.” “Ghanaian lives are not cheap, and no airline should be operating in the country if they do not have adequate insurance to cover damages for their negligent acts.”

Allied Air Cargo Plane, a Boeing 727, crashed on landing at Kotoka International Airport in Accra on June 2, 2012, breaking the airport perimeter fence in the process and running into a bus and a taxi on the Elwak stadium road killing ten people and injuring several others. Aside of huge funeral expenses which the families have had to endure with only a meager contribution from the airline, the families continue to suffer financial hardships due to the loss of income from their deceased relatives.

Lawyer Akpalu also complained about the way insurance companies and wrongdoers in Ghana get away with paying little or no compensation to their victims and pointed to the recent Melcom building collapse and the frustrations the families are going through in securing compensation. He stated that he is in consultation with some of those families to secure compensation for them and added that not all lawyers have expertise in insurance law and it behooves clients to retain the proper attorney.

Shifting to the serious problem of medical malpractice in Ghana, Lawyer Akpalu opined that Ghana is now a middle income country and must learn from the developed world where doctors are required to carry insurance so that their victims can be compensated in cases of negligent treatment leading to death or serious injury. Hospitals and Clinics, he said, must also be made to carry insurance so that they will be more careful in hiring and supervising their staff.

To contact the author, Charles Nimmo Ntiamoah-Mensah (Mr. CNN) by Email at mrcnn247@gmail.com.

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