The two German lawyers representing the families of victims of the Concorde air disaster are reportedly close to filing compensation claims in the U.S.
While settlement talks with Air France are continuing, the differences in damage awards between U.S. and European Courts is substantial. Awards in the U.S. range between $2.4 and $2.7 million per victim according to industry experts.
U.S. jurisdiction, while somewhat tenuous, could be upheld on the grounds that one of the victims was an American citizen, and/or on the fact that the doomed airliner was on a flight to the U.S. when it crashed.
In addition, according to a report from Reuters News Agency, one lawyer, Christof Wellens, who represents the families of 20 people who died in the crash, has said that he intends to file a lawsuit against Houston based Continental Airlines.
His suit is based on the preliminary finding of the French Accident Investigation Bureau (BEA) that the piece of metal on the runway, struck by the Concorde as it took off, was the proximate cause of the resulting chain of events which led to the catastrophe. There is strong evidence that the 16 inch piece was dropped by a Continental DC-10, that took of shortly before the Concorde on the same runway.
A Continental spokesman in London said the company was continuing to cooperate with authorities in the investigation, and was quoted by Reuters as saying, “At this stage in the investigation there is no evidence that Continental is involved in the Concorde crash.”
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