NYT: “ Payouts in Germanwings crash criticized”

When I was on an Aegean flight earlier this morning, I read the article below that was in today’s International New York Times regarding the settlement proposal that Lufthansa (the parent of Germanwings) had sent to families of the German casualties of the ill-fated Germanwings flight.

NYT Germanwings Compensation

The airline has offered to pay 25,000 euros for the emotional distress per passenger that they would not be liable for under the German law. The airline will send offers to other nationals in the coming weeks.

You can access the entire New York Times pieces article here of which below is an excerpt:

In a telephone briefing with reporters on Tuesday, officials from Lufthansa and Germanwings outlined the details of the compensation proposal sent to the families of the 72 victims from Germany, where, under current law, relatives of accident victims may claim only limited economic damages and are not entitled to compensation for emotional pain and suffering.

The Germanwings offer includes 25,000 euros, or $28,000, in compensation per victim for pain and suffering in the minutes before the crash, on top of payments of €50,000 per family that were made in the initial weeks after the March 24 crash to cover funeral and other immediate expenses. The airline also said it would pay a further €10,000 in emotional damages to each victim’s immediate family members, limited to parents, children, and spouses or partners that lived together. Siblings, grandparents and grandchildren will not be compensated unless they are able to demonstrate specific hardship.


It is probably difficult for those that live in the United States to understand that relatives of victims can only claim for economic damages and are not eligible for pain & suffering compensation.

Obviously, the family members can decide to sue Lufthansa in the courts outside of Germany where they may get fairer compensation.

One would have thought that it had been better for Lufthansa to make an adequate offer for the case to go away rather than dragging it in the spotlight of the media for years.

It is not unusual for an airline to make various compensation offers depending of the nationality of the victim and where they lived. Some may say argue that it is unfair.

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