Relatives of Germanwings victims refuse ′too low′ compensation offer | News | DW | 18.07.2015
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Relatives of Germanwings victims refuse 'too low' compensation offer

An offer of 25,000 euros in compensation per German citizen killed in the March plane crash has provoked 'outrage,' a lawyer representing victims' families said. The crash is believed to be caused by a suicidal co-pilot.

The offer by German flag carrier Lufthansa "must be significantly raised," said Berlin lawyer Elmar Giemulla, who represents over 30 families of passengers killed in the Germanwings crash.

"The outrage is considerable. We are now waiting for a new offer," Giemulla said on Saturday.

The initial proposal by Lufthansa promised 25,000 euros ($27,200) to the legal heirs of 72 German citizens who died in the March 24 crash, aboard a plane owned by Lufthansa subsidiary Germanwings. Lufthansa management also offered to pay 10,000 euro to victims' immediate relatives, including children, parents and partners.

Giemulla called these figures "too low" for the pain and suffering inflicted on the families he represents.

"You will not be surprised to learn that my clients have asked me to reject this offer as inadequate," Giemulla wrote in the letter to the airliner, which he made available to the media.

Instead, Giemulla asked the company for a "lower six-figure sum" for his clients and a broader definition of "immediate relative," which would include grandchildren, grandparents and siblings.

A new proposal "would make possible the initiation of serious negotiation," the German lawyer said.

There was no immediate comment from Lufthansa.

Prosecutors believe that the crash was caused by the co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, who allegedly locked the captain out of the cockpit and intentionally put the plane into a dive, killing himself and 149 other people aboard. The 27-year-old was reportedly struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts.

dj/sms (AFP, AP, Reuters, dpa)

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