CHICAGO, Dec. 3 (UPI) -- A mechanic blamed, then absolved, for indirectly causing a 2000 crash of a supersonic Concorde in France has sued United Airlines, claiming he was a "fall guy."
John Taylor sued the airline, United Continental Holdings and Air France-KLM in Cook County, Ill., Courthouse News Service reported Tuesday.
A supervisor had told French authorities Taylor, an aircraft technician employed by United, was responsible for faulty repair work that led to a crucial metal part falling off another plane onto the runway, which the Concorde struck on takeoff in France. The accident, the only crash a Concorde in 27 years of operation, killed 113 people.
Taylor was convicted in absentia and sentenced to 15 months in a French prison, but he was exonerated when his conviction was overturned on appeal in 2012.
His lawyer, Paul LaValle, said Taylor is "truly the last victim of the Concorde crash. Literally every newspaper in the world carried a story about John Taylor killing all those people."
His suit claims United Airlines failed to provide him with competent defense and "allowed him to be the fall guy or scapegoat" for the crash.
In a letter sent to the airline before the suit was filed, LaValle said Taylor "became divorced, depressed, alcoholic and suicidal" because of the accusations.
LaValle added damages in the case could reach $3.5 billion, or three times the amount paid the 113 families of the crash victims.