Friday 27 April 2018

Families to sue Lufthansa in the US over suicidal pilot crash

Andreas Lubitz
Andreas Lubitz

Kim Ripoll Berlin

The families of passengers killed in the Germanwings crash will take legal action against Lufthansa in the United States after rejecting the carrier's compensation offer as inadequate, the newspaper 'Bild am Sonntag' said, citing the families' lawyer.

In June, Germanwings, which is a unit of Lufthansa, offered €25,000 per victim for the pain and suffering caused by the March 24 crash that killed all 150 on board.

The €25,000 offer is on top of €50,000 per passenger already paid as immediate financial assistance to relatives.

US law provides for large payouts for emotional damages, unlike German law. A low six-digit amount would be adequate compensation, Elmar Giemulla, a lawyer representing some of the victims said last month.

"We are preparing a lawsuit in the US and see good chances for a place of jurisdiction there," the newspaper quoted Giemulla as saying. Damage claims have not been set yet.

Germanwings declined to comment on the report but said compensation would be "at least €100,000" per passenger and, depending on families' circumstances, would reach a high six-digit amount that could rise up to €1m.

The planned legal action will aim to find out why co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, who had previously suffered from depression, was allowed to fly, Giemulla said.

Evidence shows Lubitz locked the captain out of the cockpit of Germanwings flight 4U9525 from Barcelona to Duesseldorf and deliberately steered the plane into a remote mountainside.

Irish Independent

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