Lawsuits hit Evergreen International Airlines

Lawsuits hit Evergreen International Airlines

Numerous companies are suing Evergreen International Airlines.

A United Arab Emirates company is suing Evergreen for $5.4 million, claiming the McMinnville-based airline never paid it for air cargo missions in Afghanistan.

A Florida freight forwarder is suing for $2.1 million, seeking a refund for cargo flights Evergreen allegedly canceled. Hellmann Worldwide Logistics Inc. accuses the airline of fraud, saying it’s now evident from parent company chief executive Delford M. Smith’s statements that the freight carrier is in financial danger and managers knew they couldn’t provide the promised flights.

Together, these and other suits filed against Evergreen reveal an airline in a tailspin, scrambling for cash and often failing to show up in court to defend itself as its 83-year-old leader fights to regain control. Smith has averted disaster many times in more than five decades of management, but people close to Evergreen believe that this time his privately held corporate group is crashing.