Airline Airblue facing double digit lawsuits for passengers killed in 2010 plane crash

March 8, 2011 at 8:54 am | Posted in Aviation Law Current Event | Leave a comment

by Sara M. Langston with the blog faculty

Source: The News (Pakistan)

KARACHI: 22 separate lawsuits have been filed against private airline Airblue in local and international courts by families of passengers who died in an air crash in July last year, a top airline official said on Tuesday. 14 of those lawsuits have been filed in international courts, the rest in Pakistan. [See correction]

All 152 people onboard the fateful Airblue flight from Karachi died when the plane crashed near Islamabad on July 28, 2010. The airline management has announced a compensation of Rs5 million for every passenger besides an interim payment of Rs550,000 to each family.

The families that have gone into litigation believe that their relatives killed in the accident could have earned much more than what Airblue is offering in compensation. Abbasi said that 21 families had been paid Rs5 million each. EFU General Insurance, the insurer of Airblue, agreed to pay Rs5 million each to the families. EFU has Willis behind its back as the reinsurance company. The aircraft had been insured for $35 million.

Legal opinion differs on the amount of compensation as Pakistan is signatory to Hague Protocol and Montreal Convention of 1999, under which compensation could be as much as Rs12 million per victim, aviation lawyers say.

The Carriage by Air Act 2010, pending approval of the National Assembly, offers minimum compensation of Rs500,000 for death and injury of domestic flight passengers. Settlement of the compensation would be a test case for the country’s legal system, which has not faced such a situation before. The vague law covering the compensation matter has further complicated the situation.


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