Lawyer for relatives of Germanwings victims may sue in US

AP News
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Posted: Oct 11, 2015 8:56 AM

BERLIN (AP) — A lawyer representing more than three dozen families whose loved ones were lost in the Germanwings plane crash in March says his clients want to sue for compensation in the United States, where courts could decide upon much larger settlements.

German lawyer Elmar Giemulla told the dpa news agency on Sunday that he met with 100 family members on Saturday, who agreed he should go ahead and pursue legal action in the U.S.

Prosecutors believe the Airbus A320 was intentionally crashed by its co-pilot, killing all 150 people on board the Germanwings Barcelona to Duesseldorf flight.

The co-pilot at one point had trained in the United States and two of the victims of the crash were American. Giemulla, who represents 39 families, has previously said this should allow a U.S. court to take up the case.

The law in Germany, where almost half the 150 victims came from, doesn't currently consider the deceased's future earnings and the emotional impact on families when calculating how much money relatives are entitled to.

Lufthansa has offered around 100,000 euros ($108,000) per family, depending on its size. Giemulla says the offer is far too low.

Giemulla says he will talk again with Lufthansa before filing any suit.