Victims of Germanwings accident sue Lufthansa for negligence

Two experts affirm in the trial that the co-pilot who crashed the plane should have been declared unfit to fly

Relatives of four victims – three Spanish and one English – have accused the Lufthansa airline in a «negligence» trial for the accident of an airplane of its Germanwings subsidiary in March 2015, when a co-pilot committed suicide crashing in The French Alps a flight from Barcelona.

After the first session of the trial before the Commercial Court 10 of Barcelona – which will continue this Wednesday -, the lawyer of these families, Carlos Villacorta, explained in statements to journalists that the objective of the victims’ relatives is that the «responsibility» of Lufthansa and his company ‘low cost’ Germanwings be declared for the incident, in which 150 people died –144 passengers, two pilots and four crew members.

The lawyer has detailed that Lufthansa was in charge of training the pilots and controlling their status and that the co-pilot who crashed the plane, Andreas Lubitz, was licensed, although he already had a major major depressive disorder in 2008 during his training stage «with suicidal ideas», for which he had to be admitted.

In addition, at the end of 2014 the co-pilot «concealed» the company that was visiting several doctors and was taking medication incompatible with flying airplanes, and the lawyer stressed that the airline could have knowledge of Lubitz’s situation in early 2015 at through parts of discharge, as can be seen from the report prepared by the commission that investigated the case in France.


The trial involved two experts from the plaintiffs, a psychiatrist and an aeronautical expert after 40 years as a pilot, who have prepared a report in which they have concluded that Lubitz should have been considered unfit to fly and that Lufthansa did not He followed up appropriately.

The psychiatrist has stated that the co-pilot who caused the accident had a «serious depressive episode» with suicidal ideas and that 15% of patients with severe depression and these ideas end up committing suicide, in addition to pointing out that it was a recurrence of the first disorder suffered by Lubitz in 2008.

He has also commented that, according to the co-pilot’s medical reports, he was narcissistic and that he became obsessed that he was losing vision, which affected him psychologically and led him to lose his mind and have «catastrophic ideas» related to the possibility of losing his work, which, together with depression, could lead him to commit suicide, he said.

Although the lawyers of the insurer of the airlines have reminded him that the Düsseldorf Prosecutor’s Office (Germany) established that there is no responsibility of the companies and that the co-pilot «consciously concealed» his illness, the expert has insisted that Germanwings and Lufthansa did not correctly carry out medical checks on Lubitz.

After this first expert test, two other psychologists have explained that the families of the victims suffer a «persistent complex duel», which appears when deaths of relatives are caused by causes such as suicide or homicide, which lengthens the pain caused by loss more than a year, and that those affected think about the circumstances surrounding the death, in this case the seven minutes in which the plane descended until it crashed, they have explained.

In the trial three witnesses have also declared that, at the request of the defendant, they have not confirmed that one of the victims has been living with their partner for more than two years, and an insurance expert who has explained their system of calculation of the loss of earnings generated by the death of the victims in the accident.