Emiliano Sala’s family have lodged legal action against English Championship club Cardiff City and his former club, Ligue 1 Nantes, stemming from the plane crash which cost the life of the of 28-year-old forward two years ago.
Sala had agreed terms for a big-money move to then-Premier League outfit Cardiff in January 2019 and was traveling to his new club from France ahead of his first training session with his new teammates when the Piper Malibu light aircraft in which he was travelling plunged into the English Channel after falling thousands of feet in just 20 seconds. Pilot David Ibbotson was also lost in the crash.
Legal representatives for Sala’s family have confirmed that a high court action has been launched surrounding the matter, which they say is necessary “to protect their legal rights“.
News of the high court action was revealed on Wednesday at a pre-inquest review of the incidents that led to Sala’s death taking place in Bournemouth, in the south of England.
Sala’s body was found some weeks after the crash but the body of 59-year-old Ibbotson was never recovered.
There have already been several legal wrangles in the two years which have followed the accident, including a dispute between Cardiff and Nantes regarding the registration of the player at the time of his death.
Another man, David Henderson, who is understood to have arranged for the fateful flight, is due to stand trial in October on charges related to endangering the safety of an aircraft.
Sala’s family’s legal counsel has named 13 defendants as part of their action but say that they are willing to delay it until Henderson’s case has been fully processed.
“The family of Emiliano Sala are asking the coroner to fix the inquest date when she reviews matters, with a date soon after the trial of David Henderson, which has been fixed for 18 October 2021,” Daniel Machover, of Hickman & Rose Solicitors, said.
“In the meantime, in order to protect their legal rights and remedies arising from Emiliano’s untimely death, the family have commenced civil proceedings in the high court, but will seek agreement to stay those proceedings pending the outcome of the inquest.
“That makes it all the more important for the inquest date to be fixed, so everyone can plan accordingly.
“Most importantly, the family know that the inquest will provide the answers to the very many questions they have about what went wrong in January 2019 and why Emiliano’s life was cut short.”
Despite never appearing for Cardiff, fans of the Welsh team who play in the English league system have honored the deceased player with a series of public gatherings and tributes at the club’s Cardiff City Stadium – scenes which were matched by a huge outpouring of grief amongst supporters of the French club, for whom the striker scored 48 goals in 133 games.