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Swissair crash: legal cases still pending

Four-and-a-half years after Swissair Flight 111 crashed into the sea in Halifax, eight compensation cases are still pending against the former national carrier.

This content was published on March 27, 2003 - 10:31

Since the accident - which killed all 229 people on board - little information about its cause has been brought to light.

What is clear, however, is that a fire broke out in the plane and the electricity system failed - both events are thought to have played a central role in the crash.

Anton Fürer, who heads the Swissair 111 Post Emergency Organisation, says Swissair settled 221 cases out-of-court.

On the remaining cases Fürer says: "We continue to negotiate with the lawyers of the plaintiffs or in some cases await a decision from the US courts."

For legal reasons he was unable to give figures on the amount of damages given to the victims' families.

In October 1998, a month after the crash, Swissair paid 156 families a total of SFr4.7 million. The following March, the airline paid each of the victim's families SFr195,000.

The cases - all pending in the United States - are to be paid out by the insurance policy of the former SAir Group.

According to Swissair, payouts would be "decided on a case-by-case basis dependent on real damages suffered".

swissinfo, Urs Maurer (translation: Karin Kamp)

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