Tribute to victims of Flight PS752 (photo courtesy of Kevin Bietry via Flickr)Tribute to victims of Flight PS752 (photo courtesy of Kevin Bietry via Flickr)

Ontario court rules for families of Flight PS752 victims

The families of those killed when a jetliner was shot down in 2020 have won a legal victory.

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice announced on Monday that Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) is solely responsible for compensating the families of the victims killed when UIA Flight PS752 was shot down after takeoff from Tehran, Iran, on January 8, 2020.

Following an 18-day trial in Toronto, Justice Jasmine Akbarali ruled that UIA was negligent by failing to get a grasp of the risks posed by civilian flights leaving Iran, at a time when tension was mounting with the United States. Iran had launched ballistic missiles against U.S. forces in Iraq, in retaliation for the assassination of an Iranian leader, and was on high alert for a counterattack.

"This is an important result for our clients who lost loved ones in the downing of Flight 752," says Joe Fiorante of CFM Lawyers LLP. "For the first time, the families now have complete answers to UIA's role in this horrible tragedy."

The ruling requires UIA to pay for all compensatory damages awarded to the families.

UIA Flight PS752 was shot down by two surface-to-air missiles launched by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, moments after it took off from Teheran Imam Khomeini International Airport.

All 176 passengers and crew on board perished.

Less than half of the passengers were Canadian citizens, or international students working their way back to Canada for the resumption of classes following the winter holiday break.

Zahra Naghibi, Mohammad Abbaspour, Pedram Jadidi, Samira Bashiri, and Hamidreza Setarehkokab were all heading back to the University of Windsor.

Western University students Ghazal Nourian, Hadis Hayatdavoudi, Milad Nahavandi, and Sajedeh Saraiean were also among the victims.

Iran admitted to shooting down the plane but claimed it was an accident.

In July 2023, the International Court of Justice agreed to review the case after a referral from Canada, Ukraine, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, in a bid to hold Iran and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard accountable.

-with files from Adelle Loiselle, Scott Kitching, Allanah Wills, and Rebecca Chouinard

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