The NBA's Phoenix Suns, who lost center Nick Vanos in the crash of Northwest Flight 255 last summer, have filed a lawsuit against the airline, saying the 7-foot-2 player was irreplaceable to the professional basketball team.

The suit asks for unspecified damages from Northwest and also from the McDonnell-Douglas Corp., the maker of the plane that crashed last Aug. 16 shortly after takeoff from Detroit Metropolitan Airport. Vanos, 24, was a passenger on the plane and one of 156 people killed in the crash.