Lufthansa is the owner and operator of Germanwings, which operated Flight 9525 — the plane that crashed on March 24, 2015, killing all those on board. The investigation that followed the crash found that the copilot had locked out the pilot from entering the cockpit and directed the plane to crash into a mountain.
Under a treaty that governs deaths and injuries aboard international flights, airline operators are required to pay relatives of victims for proven damages up to a limit currently set at $157,000 regardless of what caused the crash.
But higher compensation is possible if a carrier is held liable. To avoid carrier liability, it has to prove that the crash was not due to “negligence or other wrongful act” by its employees according to Article 21 of the 1999 Montreal Convention.