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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

$9M Lawsuit Filed in Aeroflot Crash

APFirefighters examining debris from the Aeroflot-Nord Boeing 737-500 that crashed outside Perm on Sept. 14.
A lawyer representing relatives of three people who died in an Aeroflot-Nord plane crash near Perm in September filed a $9 million lawsuit Monday against the Boeing Co. and U.S. bank Wells Fargo.

Boeing built the 737-500 jet that went down as it prepared to land at the Perm airport in bad weather on Sept. 14, killing all 88 people on board. Aeroflot-Nord leased the aircraft from Wells Fargo.

The lawyer, Igor Trunov, told The Moscow Times that he decided to sue the two companies in Moscow's Savyolovsky District Court because Russian law stipulates that both the plane maker and owner are responsible for the technical condition of aircraft.

Boeing spokesman Todd Blecher said by telephone from the company's headquarters in Chicago that he was unaware of the lawsuit filed in Moscow.

Wells Fargo and Aeroflot officials could not be immediately reached for comment.

Aeroflot-Nord, a subsidiary of state-owned Aeroflot, no longer exists, but Trunov said Aeroflot would be represented by Wells Fargo and Boeing in court.

Trunov declined to identify his clients, saying only that they came from Moscow, Perm and China.

Asked about the size of the lawsuit, which is unusually large by Russian standards, Trunov said the U.S. Transportation Department quantifies the value of a human life lost in an air accident at $3 million.

The merits of the lawsuit were unclear Monday. A Russian investigation of the crash concluded in February that the primary cause was most likely the poor training of the pilots. Authorities said the captain had flown primarily Soviet-made aircraft during his career, and he was only trained to fly the Boeing 737-500 at a U.S. flight school in 2006.

Questions about the pilot's training arose soon after the crash, and the father of one of the passengers lodged a complaint against the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, saying that it had failed to "properly regulate U.S. training institutions which provided training for the crew." The claim is still pending.

Trunov is a celebrity lawyer who has handled some of the country's highest-profile cases over the past decade. Among his clients were victims of the 2002 Dubrovka Theater siege and banker Alexei Frenkel, who was convicted in the 2006 murder of Central Banker Andrei Kozlov.