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Germanwings crash relatives lose case against Lufthansa

July 1, 2020

The families were seeking a higher payout than the one they had previously been offered by Lufthansa's low-cost carrier. All passengers on board the March 2015 flight from Barcelona to Düsseldorf perished.

A memorial for the victims of the Germanwings crash in 2015
Image: picture alliance/dpa/R. Vennenbernd

A German court on Wednesday rejected demands for more compensation from the families of victims who lost their relatives in a Germanwings crash in March 2015.

Eight people were claiming a higher payout than the one Lufthansa, Germanwings' parent company, had originally offered, but that plea has been dismissed by the court in the western German city of Essen.

French and German investigators concluded that co-pilot Andreas Lubitz intentionally crashed the Airbus A320 into a French mountain on March 24, 2015, killing all 150 passengers on board the Düsseldorf-bound flight from Barcelona.

Read more: Pilot shortage leaves aviation restart up in the air

German news agency DPA said the state court dismissed the plaintiffs' claims for a higher payout, ruling in favor of Lufthansa, as judges said the airline and its US-based flight school weren't responsible for determining whether Lubitz was in the right mental condition to fly. 

The plaintiffs had argued that the airline and the flight school allowed him to conduct his training even though there was evidence of mental illness. 

Judge Lars Theissen said aviation safety is "a state task."

Germanwings operated independently as Lufthansa's low-cost carrier until October 2015, when the German flag-carrier decided to transfer the brand identity of its short haul-product to Eurowings.

jsi/rs (AP, dpa)