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Germanwings crash families to sue pilot training school: lawyer

[FRANKFURT] Some of the families of victims of last year's Germanwings disaster are suing the US training school attended by the co-pilot who deliberately crashed the jet, their lawyer said Friday.

Lawyer Christof Wellens told AFP that the families were planning to file a suit later this month in a court in Phoenix, Arizona, against the training school.

"That's where the misery began. The co-pilot interrupted his training there for a while due to psychological problems," Wellens said.

"He shouldn't have been allowed to resume his training." The 27-year-old co-pilot Andreas Lubitz deliberately crashed the Germanwings jet en route from Barcelona to Duesseldorf on March 24, 2015, killing all 150 people on board.

Lubitz attended the facility in Arizona where the pilots of Germanwings' parent company Lufthansa are trained.

After the crash, it was revealed that Lubitz suffered from depression, and that the airline knew about his health condition.

Lufthansa disbursed 50,000 euros (US$55,000) per victim in immediate aid. It has offered 25,000 euros more to each of the families plus 10,000 euros to each immediate relative including parents, children and spouses.

The lawyers of victims' families have dismissed the compensation offered so far by Lufthansa as insufficient.

The families' lawyers argue that compensation in air accident cases in the United States is usually a lot higher than in Germany.

In July 2015, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) recommended more medical testing for pilots, including more psychological tests.

The EASA also said that two people should always be in the cockpit, a rule not yet imposed by the EU.


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