Families of Victims in Air France Crash Want Equal Compensation

A French support group said Friday that it will seek equal compensation for the families of French victims of the crash of Air France Flight 447 after a Brazilian judge awarded more than $1 million for a Brazilian who died in the flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris last year.

The decision by a Brazilian judge ordering Air France to pay the Brazilian victim's family is "human," said Jean-Baptiste Audousset, president of the Association Mutual Aid and Solidarity AF447.

All 228 people aboard AF446 died when the plane crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off Brazil's northeastern coast June 1, 2009. The aircraft's black boxes have not been found, and no definite cause for the crash has been determined.

Judge Mauro Nicolau Junior has ordered Air France to pay 2.04 million reals ($1.15 million) in damages to the family of Marcelle Valpacos Fonseca, a state prosecutor who was among those who died, a statement by the Rio de Janeiro State Judiciary said Friday.

"We want an equitable treatment for all families and that the compensation is the same," Andousset said. "Nothing prevents a French judge from allocating such a sum."

"It's a decision that not only is legal but also human and which brings compensation to the level of the drama experienced and the particularly difficult situation that the families are going through," Audousset said.

No French family has yet gone to court, Audousset said.