How to limit compensation after a crash

germanwings A320Lufthansa has not yet settled the final compensation to the next of kin of the victims of the 2015 germanwings crash. According to several German publications the airline is trying to limit the compensation. The Airbus 320 crashed into the French Alps taking the lives of all 150 passengers and crew members on board.


The carrier has paid out €50,000 per victim in emergency aid and €25,000 in inheritance compensation. In addition, it has paid €10,000 compensation per victim to other relatives, while individual damages have been calculated on a case by case basis.

According to the publications Lufthansa is trying to limit the final compensation to the victims’ next of kin. The carrier’s argument is dubious and peculiar.

Fragments of the germenwings planegermanwings disaster

At the time of the catastrophe the passengers on the germanwings flight don’t know that the plane is about to crash. According to Lufthansa they think it is a normal descent. Thus, they don’t suffer any distress during the over 10 minutes of descent, while they are instantly killed on impact.

This is a quite dubious argument. Shortly after departure the captain leaves the cockpit for a trip to the toilet. When he returns the aircraft is rapidly descending. How could passengers consider this a normal descent shortly after departure?

Fire axe

The captain cannot enter the flight deck because the co-pilot doesn’t open the bulletproof door. In a desperate attempt to open the door, the captain takes a fire axe and begins hitting it. Passengers are watching this. Yet, they consider the descent normal, according to Lufthansa.

Andreas Lubitz

Andreas Lubitz

A doctor had diagnosed a depression and possibly a psychosis with the co-pilot, Andreas Lubitz. However, this did not prevent Lubitz from flying. Lufthansa may not have known the diagnosis. The attending doctor may have been unable to inform the airline due to the professional secret.

Inappropriate argument

Thus, the carrier might not be legally responsible for the drama. But that would not imply in any way it has the right to use a ridiculous argument. For that is the argument that passengers did not suffer any distress during the descent. The argument is simply inappropriate.

Related: “All you want to know about the cockpit door

Tags: germanwings crash, compensation to victims’ next of kin

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