Ontario court awards $ 107 million to families of victims of flight PS752
An Ontario court awarded $ 107 million, plus interest, to the families of six people who died in the destruction of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 almost two years ago.
The ruling was released today after Judge Edward Belobaba of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice ruled in May that the destruction of the commercial plane shortly after takeoff in Tehran was an intentional act of terrorism.
Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps shot down the plane on January 8, 2020, killing all 176 people on board, including 55 Canadians and 35 permanent residents.
According to a statement by their lawyer Mark Arnold, the six family members awarded compensation by the court to the spouses, siblings, children, nieces and nephews on board flight 752. They had filed a civil lawsuit against Iran. and other officials who they said were to blame for the disaster.
In a decision dated December 31, Belobaba awarded $ 100 million in punitive damages to be shared among the estates of the six victims. The ruling awarded an additional $ 1 million to family members for loss of counseling, care and companionship, and $ 6 million for pain and suffering.
Arnold said his team would seek to seize Iranian assets in Canada and abroad. He said Iran has tankers in other countries and his team will seek to grab anything they can to pay what families owe.
WATCH: Ontario court finds destruction of Flight 752 a deliberate act of terrorism
Iran’s foreign ministry denounced May’s decision as “shameful” and said the court’s decision lacked legitimate evidence. Iran has also publicly rejected Canadian class actions related to Flight 752, arguing that Canadian courts lack jurisdiction and insisting that all legal proceedings will be conducted inside Iran.
Belobaba ruled that, on a balance of probabilities, the complainant had established that “the terrorist activity … directly caused the death of everyone on board”.
Iran has not defended itself in court, making it a judgment by default.
Canadian academics in terrorism law said there were flaws in the original Ontario court ruling in May.