Families Of Germanwings Crash Victims File Lawsuit Against Flight School

14/04/2016 5:33 PM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST
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FRANKFURT, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 13: In this photo released today, co-pilot of Germanwings flight 4U9525 Andreas Lubitz participates in the Airport Hamburg 10-mile race on September 13, 2009 in Hamburg, Germany. Lubitz is suspected of having deliberately piloted Germanwings flight 4U 9525 into a mountain in southern France on March 24, 2015 and killing all 150 people on board, including himself, in the worst air disaster in Europe in recent history. (Photo by Getty Images)

Families of victims killed when co-pilot Andreas Lubitz crashed a Germanwings plane into the French Alps are attempting to sue the U.S. flight school where he trained.

More than one year has passed since 150 people lost their lives on board Germanwings Flight 4U9525 when Lubitz locked the captain out of the cockpit and flew the plane into a mountain in the French Alps.

Lubitz had a long history of mental illness and investigators found the co-pilot was urged to attend a psychiatric hospital weeks before the crash. But the airline was never alerted.

The federal lawsuit, filed by law firm Kreindler & Kreindler in Phoenix, Arizona, argues the U.S. flight school Airline Training Center of Arizona was negligent of the co-pilot's mental health problems.

Germanwings' parent company Lufthansa also owns the flight school.

The complaint filed on Wednesday representing 80 victims' families says Lubitz was "a man with a history of unresolved problems" and the flight school neglected to recognise this in the screening process.

"ATCA was negligent, careless and reckless and breached its duty of care to the passengers of Germanwings Flight 4U9525 in failing to properly screen Lubitz when he applied for admission to its commercial airline training center," the filed complaint stated.

"Proper screening would have revealed his history of severe depression, suicidal ideations, hospitalisation on account of such mental disorders, his dishonesty and untrustworthiness, making him unqualified to become a Lufthansa commercial airline pilot.

"The company missed several readily apparent red flags, including that Lubitz’s German medical certificate had a restricting legend on its face specifically because of that mental illness history, which included severe depression and suicidal ideations."

Kreindler & Kreindler partner Brian Alexander said the goal of the lawsuit extends beyond the isolated incident, but is a call for more regular mental health screenings for pilots around the world.

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