International Law

Lawsuit filed in US over intentional crash of German flight in French Alps

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Lawyers for survivors of some of the 150 individuals who died when a co-pilot intentionally crashed a Germanwings flight in the French Alps last year have found a way to file suit over the incident in the United States.

Investigators said privacy laws that allowed co-pilot Andreas Lubitz to conceal severe mental health issues were primarily to blame for the crash. But Kreindler & Kreindler, which filed a federal lawsuit in Phoenix, Arizona, on Wednesday for 80 victims’ families, is pointing the finger at an Arizona-based flight school to which Lufthansa, the parent company of Germanwings, sent Lubitz for training, reports Bloomberg.

“Why should the case be in the United States? Lufthansa chose the United States for its flight-training program,” attorney Marc Moller of the Kreindler firm told the news agency. As Bloomberg points out, plaintiffs are likely to get far greater damages in the U.S. than a European country, if they win such a case.

As a “gatekeeper” for Lufthansa, when training Lubitz the flight school “had an obligation to investigate his medical history and his trustworthiness,” Moller contended, and should have rejected him as a pilot candidate after doing so.

A New York spokeswoman for Lufthansa said only, “Based on our information, we see no prospects of success for this course of action,” when contacted by Bloomberg.

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