Aviation & Space Law

Airline crash occurred in Europe, but attorneys are pondering possible US lawsuit

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A co-pilot’s intentional crash of a Germanwings flight last month, killing all 150 aboard, occurred in the French Alps.

However, attorneys are considering bring a lawsuit seeking damages in the United States, because American law, unlike German law, provides for compensation for loss of future earnings and the emotional impact on family members of victims, reports the Associated Press.

A U.S. lawsuit is possible because two of the victims lived in this country, said attorney Elmar Giemulla, who practices in Berlin. “And if you have a mixed group like that, then the others can apply to join the case,” he added.

The first choice would be to settle with Lufthansa, the parent company of Germanwings, out of court.

“It will depend on how constructive the talks with Lufthansa and Germanwings are,” said Christof Wellens, another lawyer representing the families of victims. “If they are prepared to negotiate about the internationally accepted amounts, then we’ll find a solution. If not, then we need to find a way to pursue our claims, and that would be in court.”

A spokesman for Germanwings declined to comment.

Related coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Germanwings co-pilot’s browser showed research on suicide and cockpit door security”

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