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Tuesday, 14 May, 2002, 09:44 GMT 10:44 UK
Aaliyah's parents sue over plane crash
The plane crashed soon after take off
The parents of the late R&B star Aaliyah have filed a lawsuit against Virgin Records America, alleging negligence over the plane crash that killed the singer.

The 22-year-old was killed along with eight others when the Cessna they were flying in crashed on take off in August 2001.

Aaliyah had been in the Bahamas shooting a music video
The legal action, filed on behalf of Diane and Michael Haughton in Los Angeles, also names several video companies and Blackhawk International Airways, the operator of the plane.

Aaliyah and her entourage had been in the Bahamas filming a pop video and were returning to Florida when the accident happened.

All nine people aboard the twin-engine plane were killed, including the pilot.

Crash investigators discovered the plane was carrying at least 700 pounds over the recommended weight.

The Haughtons allege that a "dangerous and unsafe configuration" of the Cessna was the cause of the crash and that it was the wrong plane for the charter flight.

They also suggest the pilot was not properly qualified.

There are now five families of victims with lawsuits filed against those they believe responsible for the crash.

'Profits over safety'

The families of hair stylists Eric Forman and Anthony Dodd filed against Virgin Records America in February, alleging the plane was overloaded with passengers, luggage and video equipment.

Brian Panish, a solicitor acting for their families, said the record company "took profits over the safety of transporting people".

The families are seeking unspecified monetary damages and "answers to why this tragedy occurred", he added.

In addition to Virgin Records America, the defendants listed were music video director Harold Williams, Instinct Productions, Big Dog House Films, Blackground Records LLC, Skystream and Blackhawk International Airways.

Neither Blackhawk, the Florida charter company, or Skystream, the plane's registered owner, had a permit to operate commercial charter flights in the Bahamas, an investigator for the Bahamian Civil Aviation Department has said.

At the time of her death Aaliyah was one of the fastest rising stars in the US and a film in which she starred, Queen of the Damned, has since gone to the top of the American box office charts and she has also had a posthumous number one single in the UK.

See also:

27 Aug 01 | Americas
R&B star crash inquiry
28 Feb 02 | Music
Virgin sued over Aaliyah crash
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