Lawyers Discuss Concorde Compensation Deal

Attorneys discussed compensation for families of those killed in last July’s Concorde crash today but said they needed more time to seek a settlement.

Both lawyers for some families of the 113 victims and legal representatives of Air France and its insurers said they hoped to strike a once-and-for-all deal to satisfy relatives and avoid further claims and legal actions.

They said that they had agreed to meet again on Nov. 3.

“We’ve given Air France a final deadline to consult with its insurers,” said Gerard Samet, a French lawyer representing some of the families.

The Concorde crash north of Paris on July 25 killed all 109 aboard and four people at a hotel in the outer suburbs of Paris.

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Samet and German lawyer and former Interior Minister Gerhardt Baum say they represent the families of some 65 of the victims, who were mostly Germans.

Fernand Garnault, a lawyer for the French airline, said that he believed the two lawyers and two others he met with today represented about 20 families.

The talks were designed to pave the way for a compensation deal that would avoid later claims by the same people for damages.

Baum had previously billed today’s meeting in Paris as the one that would determine whether his clients would be tempted to join a legal action opened in a court in Miami in the United States by Martin Gulduer, the son of victim William Gulduer.

Filing suits in the United States is seen as more lucrative than doing so in Europe. Lawyers for the Gulduer son are seeking more than $75,000 and say they can sue in the United States because that was the doomed flight’s destination.