Families Of British And Spanish Passengers Killed In Germanwings Plane Crash To Start Legal Proceedings In USA

Families Angry And Upset That Co-Pilot Was Not Prevented From Flying Given His History Of Mental Health

24.03.2016

Dave Grimshaw, Press Officer | 0114 274 4397

The families of British and Spanish victims killed when a Germanwings plane was deliberately crashed by its co-pilot exactly one-year-ago (24th March) have confirmed that they are preparing to commence legal proceedings in the USA against the Arizona flight school where he trained.

Specialist aviation lawyers at Irwin Mitchell in the UK are working together with other leading aviation lawyers in the USA  and Germany and will be issuing proceedings shortly against the flight school which it is alleged should have prevented Andreas Lubitz from qualifying as a commercial airline pilot.

The Germanwings-operated Airbus A320 on Flight 4U9525 crashed in the French Alps on 24 March 2015 killing all 150 people on board following an eight-minute descent. It was later revealed that the co-pilot, Andreas Lubitz, had deliberately crashed the plane as he sought to end his own life.

It was also revealed after the crash that Lubitz had visited 41 doctors in the years before the crash in relation to his mental health problems.

Clive Garner, head of Aviation Law at Irwin Mitchell and one of the expert team representing British and Spanish families said:

Expert Opinion
“As we reach the first anniversary of this terrible tragedy, the victims’ families deserve answers as to how this disaster was allowed to happen.

“Our clients understandably remain incredibly upset and angry about what happened on and before 24 March 2015 and while nothing can bring their loved ones back, they want those who were responsible for allowing Lubitz to qualify as a pilot and fly commercial airliners to be brought to justice. As well as securing justice for those that they have lost, our clients also want lessons to be learned to avoid a similar tragedy occurring in the future.

“To that end we have joined forces with other specialist law firms representing a large number of families from across the world as we prepare a group action against the US flight School in Arizona, who trained Lubitz and deemed him fit to fly airliners for Germanwings.”
Clive Garner, Partner

Jim Morris, an expert aviation lawyer at Irwin Mitchell and former RAF pilot is part of the team representing the families of passengers who died, he added: “The recent report from the French accident investigators made several safety recommendations which echo reforms that we and the families we represent have previously called for, but we have concerns that there are some crucial elements still to investigate. 

“We are particularly disappointed that the report contained little analysis of what the Lufthansa US flight school did to monitor a student with mental health problems and why he was able to pass such a demanding course.  This flight school had a crucial opportunity to prevent the co-pilot from qualifying as a commercial airline pilot who would be responsible for hundreds of lives.”

Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in Air Accident Claims.