March 25, 2014 10:12 am -

The government says more money will be coming.

The payments of $5,000 per passenger should help families cope with the immediate financial strain caused by a long search for the plane. But the airline is eventually likely to pay next of kin compensation that ranges into the millions of dollars per passenger.

Under an international treaty known as the Montreal Convention, the airline must pay relatives of each deceased passenger an initial sum of around $150,000 to $175,000.

Relatives of victims can also sue for further damages — unless the airline can prove that it took all necessary measures to prevent a crash or any other incident that prevented passengers from arriving safely.

Liability could also stretch beyond the airline to the plane’s manufacturer, Boeing, if a mechanical flaw is ruled the cause. But that would be difficult to prove if the plane is not recovered.

D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.