Relatives of Germanwings crash victims sue pilot's school

Relatives whose loved ones died last year when a Germanwings pilot deliberately crashed a plane in the French Alps filed a wrongful death suit today against the US flight school that trained him.

PTI| Updated: Apr 13, 2016, 23:33 PM IST

New York: Relatives whose loved ones died last year when a Germanwings pilot deliberately crashed a plane in the French Alps filed a wrongful death suit today against the US flight school that trained him.

"Andreas Lubitz, the suicidal pilot, should never have been allowed to enter" the training program at Airline Training Center Arizona, Inc (ATCA), said Brian Alexander, an attorney who filed the suit in federal court in Phoenix, Arizona.

It was filed on behalf of 80 people whose relatives perished in the March 15, 2015 crash of a Germanwings' Flight A320. Alexander's firm, Kreindler and Kreindler, was joined in the suit by attorneys in Britain, Germany and the Netherlands.

The crash took 150 lives, including that of Lubitz, a troubled pilot who struggled for years with mental health problems.

Lubitz received pilot training at ATCA, between November 2010 and March 2011. ATCA, like Germanwings, is owned by the German airline Lufthansa.

Alexander said in a statement that ATCA was "not just negligent, but also careless, and even reckless, in failing to apply its own well-advertised 'stringent' standards to discover the history of Lubitz's severe mental illness that should have kept Lubitz from admission to ATCA's flight school."

Investigators found after the crash that Lubitz, 27, had a history of depression and suicidal tendencies and the case has raised questions about medical checks faced by pilots as well as doctor-patient confidentiality.

Lubitz was allowed to continue flying despite having been seen by doctors dozens of times in the years preceding the disaster.