Relatives of Passengers Who Died in Germanwings Alps Crash May Sue Airline
The world has been in shock this week over an airplane crash in the French Alps in which the co-pilot appears to have deliberately crashed the plane with the loss of 150 lives.
It was a terrible and shocking incident and my thoughts are with the families of those who died. In the days after the Germanwings Airbus crashed, experts have looked at the medical record of the co-pilot and speculation about the families suing the airline has gathered pace.
Evidence obtained from voice recorders reveals co-pilot Andreas Lubitz purposely started a descent as the pilot was locked out of the cockpit of the plane and was desperately trying to get back in. The aircraft crashed in the French Alps on Tuesday, killing 144 passengers and six crew members from 18 counties.
German prosecutors said the co-pilot, who is accused of intentionally setting the plane on its fatal descent, had an illness that he did not disclose to his employer. A medical note at his home declared him unfit to work but he does not appear to have told his employers.
That alone may not get the airline off the hook. News reports suggested Lubitz had a history of depression that was on his file. The German news site Bild reported on how when Lubitz finished training in 2009, he was diagnosed with a “serious depressive episode” and received treatment for over a year.
Internal documents quoted by Bild and the German station ARD said a note on Lubitz’s aviation authority file recommended regular psychological assessments.
This week the UK news site The Daily Mail ran a story suggested grieving family of Germanwings airline victims could be entitled to up to $150 million in compensation.
“Ordinarily, the families of air disasters are entitled to a maximum of around £100,000 under international agreements. But if a family decides to sue, this figure could rise dramatically depending on the degree of negligence by the airline and the level of awareness their loved ones would have had on their impending doom,” stated the Daily Mail article.
As well as looking at Lubitz’s medical record, attorneys for the families could question the airline’s policy of not requiring at least two crew on the flight deck at all times once the aircraft is flying, the article states.
If you lose a loved one on the roads of Virginia due to a truck driver who has a medical condition, his employer could be liable in a lawsuit; likewise a bus driver. Airlines also have a responsibility to screen pilots for conditions that could cause irrational and suicidal behavior. If you have lost a loved one, call Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers at 757.455.0077 or see CooperHurley.com.