Air France Insurer Axa to Appeal Compensation Ruling

by Alfie FEATHERSTONE on March 16, 2010

Air France was ordered by a court judge on Thursday to pay over $1 million (2 million reais) worth of compensation to the family of a victim who died in the June 1, 2009 plane crash off the coast of Brazil. Flight 447 was flying from Rio de Janeiro to Paris when is crashed into the Atlantic, killing all 228 people on board.

One of the passengers was prosecutor Marcelle Lima, 41, on whose parents were financially dependent. Her family sued Air France for compensation, and Judge Mauro Nicolau ruled that the airline has to pay 500,000 reais a month in the form of moral damage payments, which are to be made to Lima’s siblings.

However, Air France and their insurer Axa don’t agree with the order and are planning to appeal the ruling. Axa said in a statement that the committee created after the crash to define the criteria for fair compensation should make the decision on this case. The committee consists of Brazil’s government, insurers and associations of victims’ families.

Meanwhile, investigators still don’t know what caused the crash, as they haven’t found the aircraft’s black box yet. This is the first time in 3 decades that a black box hasn’t been found after a plane crashed, even though search teams from around the world have helped look for it.

For now the cause will remain a mystery, but they aren’t giving up yet. On March 25 they plan to have a team of robots scavenge the ocean floor where the crash occurred, which will be the third search. The area they will cover spans about 800 square miles.

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