TRAGIC PILOTS' PARTNERS SUE FOR ₤4 MILLION
Women lodge compensation claims
PARTNERS of the pilots killed in the North Sea Super Puma disaster have raised multi-million pound legal actions, the Evening Express can reveal today.
The moves – thought to be worth more than £4 million – have
been raised by Katherine Botham and Joanne McKenzie against Bond Offshore Helicopters over the deaths of co-pilot Richard Menzies, 24, and 3 1 - year-old Captain Paul Burnham.
Miss Botham was described as the “soul mate” Mr Menzies while Joanne McKenzie said she and Captain Burnham were newly engaged.
Today, both women said the loss of the men they loved had changed their lives forever.
It was understood the compensation could be calculated from the pilots’ total salaries until retirement age.
And this would equate to more than £2m each.
Miss McKenzie, who lived with Paul in Methlick, today confirmed she was suing for compensation.
She said: “There is no amount of money that could bring Paul back. However, my life was turned upside down after his death.
“We moved to Aberdeenshire because of Paul’s job. When he died I went to London. I had to rethink my whole life.”
And Miss Botham, 26, a civil servant, said: “Losing Richard has affected by whole life and not a day goes by without me thinking of him.
“Some days it can feel like I am back at square one, but I have had wonderful support from my
“Actions have been raised”
Solicitors Balfour & Manson, Raeburn Christie Clark & Wallace and Digby Brown have formed a steering group to represent nine of the men’s families.
Balfour & Manson’s Lisa Gregory, co-ordinator of the steering group, today said: “I can confirm actions have been raised at the Court of Session on behalf of Katherine Botham and Joanne McKenzie, the partners of the late Richard Menzies, of Droitwich Spa, and Paul Burnham.
“The actions seek to compensate our clients for their losses sustained as a result of the helicopter incident.”
Ms Gregory said the procedure for compensation claims by the families of the late Mr Burnham and Mr Menzies was different from that of claims by families of the passengers.
The Montreal Convention sets out air carriers’ liabilities for passengers but it does not extend to flight crew.
A spokesman for Bond said they were aware the claims had been lodged.
DISASTER: Wreckage from the helicopter is unloaded at Aberdeen Harbour. SUING: Richard Menzies’ partner Katherine Botham.