BOSTON , Feb. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- The widow of U.S. Navy Lieutenant Nathan Dennis White , killed by friendly fire while piloting an F/A-18 aircraft westof Karbala, Iraq , in April 2003 , filed a law suit yesterday against Raytheon Company, the manufacturer of the Patriot Air & Missile Defense System thatshot down Lt. White 's aircraft. The wrongful death suit claims that Raytheon knowingly disregarded a frequent, widespread malfunction within the Patriot System that can cause it to misidentify U.S. and allied aircraft as enemy missiles.
The law suit was filed in U.S. District Court in Boston , MA, by the aviation law firm Kreindler & Kreindler LLP on behalf of plaintiff Akiko Ohata White, the widow of Lt. White , and their three minor-age children. Ms. White is a U.S. citizen now residing in Japan who was a resident of Texas with her husband and children when Lt. White was killed.
Wrongful Death, Gross Negligence Claimed
"The death of Lieutenant White was more than just an unfortunate accident of war," said William O. Angelley, an attorney at Kreindler & Kreindler and a former U.S. Navy pilot. "This officer died unnecessarily, due to a faulty system designed, manufactured and sold to the U.S. government by Raytheon.The system was supposed to protect our troops, but in this case it ended up killing one. The company had known for some time that the system was faulty,and Raytheon's failure to fix the problem demonstrates gross negligence."
On April 2, 2003, while flying over Iraq , the cockpit of Lt. White 'saircraft was sheared off by a Patriot Missile, causing the F/A-18 to crash,killing Lt. White. In December 2004, an investigative report presented to Ms.White by the U.S. Army revealed the Patriot Air & Missile Defense System's erroneous misidentification of her husband's aircraft and the facts and circumstances concerning the launching of one or more Patriot missiles at Lt.White 's aircraft.
"There have been at least three friendly-fire incidents involving this system in recent years, two of which resulted in fatalities," said Mr.Angelley . "Raytheon must be held accountable for this dangerous design flaw. At this time of war, our soldiers and pilots are in harm's way each and everyday. Those responsible for providing military equipment must do so in ways that protect our forces, not add to the dangers they face."
Mr. Angelley notes that while he expects Raytheon will raise the "government contractor defense" in this case and it is a significant obstacle,the Kreindler firm has defeated that defense on several occasions, and has successfully represented the families of military casualties in many cases.
About Kreindler & Kreindler LLP
Founded in 1950, Kreindler & Kreindler (www.kreindler.com) is nationallyrecognized as the first and most prominent aviation law firm in the nation.The firm, with offices in New York, Boston and Los Angeles , has been the leading plaintiff legal counsel on hundreds of aviation cases, including many involving military aircraft and major ones such as the September 11 terrorist attacks, Pan Am Lockerbie Flight 103, Korean Airlines Flight 007 and American Airlines Flight 587. Its ranks include airplane and helicopter pilots,engineers and other technical experts.
SOURCE Kreindler & Kreindler LLP
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