The 1st of July 2002, in German airspace, a Bashkirian Airlines Tupolev 154M aircraft collided in flight with a DHL Boeing 757. All occupants of both aircrafts perished. The Russian flight was carrying a group of adolescents heading Spain to spend their holidays. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/uberlingen_mid-air_collision).
In an unprecedented decision, the Spanish Supreme Court has declared the liability of the US corporations Honeywell and ACSS, both manufacturers of the anti-collision instrument known as TCAS (Traffic Collision Avoidance System), stating that “the product defects are directly linked and are the cause of the air crash in which the plaintiff’s relatives lost their lives”.
In order to achieve this conclusion, the Supreme Court made an extensive application of the state laws of Arizona and New Jersey.
The Supreme Court awards compensation to each family, based in U.S. standards, of 2.250.000 USD, except in some case in which, due to multiple losses, the compensation is substantially increased.
The families of the Bashkirian Airlines Überlingen midair collision have been able to obtain an adequate response to their claims, especially in the quest for the truth.
This decision is with no doubt the largest compensation ever awarded by a European Court in favor of a group of aviation victims. It is also likely the most complex and difficult case the partners of BCV LEX have faced since the creation of the Firm back in the nineties.
A great victory for the victims of the Baskirian Airlines air crash, but also a huge accomplishment for people like us, fighting tirelessly in defense of their interests.
May this judicial milestone serve as a tribute to all the victims and relatives of this terrible tragedy.