Germanwings crash victims′ families prepare to file lawsuit in the US | News | DW | 09.08.2015
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Germanwings crash victims' families prepare to file lawsuit in the US

Families of passengers who died in the Germanwings crash in March have decided to file a lawsuit in the United States. The plaintiffs could get 10 times more compensation than they were offered in Germany.

Elmar Giemulla, the lawyer representing the families of the 150 passengers who died in the Germanwings crash, confirmed on Sunday that his clients were planning to file a case in US courts.

"We are preparing for a complaint in the US and believe we have a good chance of getting heard at a court in the United States," Giemulla told the German newspaper "Bild am Sonntag."

The lawyer said his case would concentrate on trying to find out why the co-pilot was allowed to fly the plane despite being diagnosed with psychological problems.

"With the help of the US' out-of-court system of gathering evidence, we hope to ascertain how it was possible for a co-pilot with a record of psychological problems...to be allowed to fly in the first place," Giemulla added.

Elmar Giemulla

Elmar Giemulla will represent the victims' families in the US

The relatives of those killed, however, have not yet named any monetary sum in terms of desired compensation from Germanwings' parent company, Lufthansa. A court decision in their favor may get them 10 times more compensation than in Germany.

Lufthansa paid passengers' relatives 25,000 euros ($27,420) following the disaster, but families are unhappy with the amount offered. The airlines company has maintained that its offer "goes well beyond" what it is legally bound to pay under the terms of the Warsaw Convention.

Germanwings flight 4U9525 crashed into a mountainside near Le Vernet in France on March 24 this year. Investigators concluded that the plane's co-pilot, Andreas Lubitz, deliberately flew the plane into the ground, killing all 144 passengers and six crew members on board.

mg/jlw (AFP, Reuters)

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