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25 June, 2024
 
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Court denies payouts to Helios crash victims' families

Appeals over Helios Airline tragedy rejected

Newsroom

The Court of Appeal, in a majority decision, dismissed the appeals of the children of two deceased passengers of the ''Helios'' airline, who sought compensation from the Republic of Cyprus for the loss of their parents.

Recalling the tragic incident on August 14, 2005, when the "Helios" passenger flight from Larnaca to Prague, with a stopover at Athens International Airport, crashed in Grammatiko, Attica, resulting in the deaths of all 115 passengers and the six-member crew.

Among the passengers were a couple whose children filed lawsuits on August 13, 2007, as administrators of their estate, seeking compensation from the Republic of Cyprus, one for each deceased parent.

The lawsuits sought compensation for actions and/or omissions of the Republic and/or its employees and/or representatives and/or its bodies, resulting in or contributing to the death of their parents on or around August 14, 2005, while they were on board the "Helios" flight.

On July 4, 2007, the plaintiffs received a monetary amount from the insurance company of the former HELIOS AIRWAYS LTD, now A-Jet Aviation Ltd, due to the death of their parents as a result of the flight accident with number ZU522. The payment was made through the insurers' lawyers in London, Gates & Partners LLP.

Specifically, according to the decision, on July 4, 2007, the plaintiffs received the sum of €905,625, including legal expenses and lawyer fees, in relation to the death of their deceased father due to the flight accident of ZU522, and the plaintiffs accepted and received the above amount, signing the Document dated 07/04/2007.

Also, on July 4, 2007, the plaintiffs received the sum of €872,960, including legal expenses and lawyer fees, in relation to the death of their deceased mother, signing the document dated 07/04/2007.

The documents dated 07/04/2007, entitled "Receipt and Full and Final General Discharge and Payment," provide, among other things, that "it is agreed and understood that the payers will compensate the released parties for any claims by any third party, including the Government of Cyprus, but not limited to it, for contribution, compensation or restoration of any damage arising from the death of the deceased."

Furthermore, the specific payment, as stated in the documents signed, will be interpreted and executed in accordance with Greek law, and the parties agree that in the event of any dispute or difference regarding this, they will consent and refer the dispute to the exclusive jurisdiction of any competent Court in the city of Athens, Greece."

In its decision, the Court of Appeal stated that the lower Court, which had been called upon to decide on the above, rightfully found that by accepting the compensations, the appellants had released the Republic of Cyprus, the defendant in the lawsuits, and that the matter ended there.

Therefore, it rightfully upheld the preliminary objections, noting that the appellants, having signed the documents dated July 4, 2007, and having received the specific compensations, were not entitled to claim compensation from the Republic of Cyprus for the death of their parents.

"Consequently, it correctly dismissed the lawsuits (the trial court)," concluded the Appeals Court decision.

According to the majority of the Appeals Court, "all grounds of appeal are unfounded," and it is emphasized that "the trial decision is confirmed as correct," rejecting the appeals.

[With information sourced from CNA]

TAGS
Cyprus  |  airlines  |  Helios  |  crash  |  victims  |  court  |  compensation

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