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Brazilian Consumers’ Bill of Rights expands the payable compensations to victims of airline accidents
Dr. Édison Freitas de Siqueira
Those responsible for air crashes around the world, have to compensate for damages to victims' families. In Brazil, the Consumer Defense Code - CDC (Bill nº 8.078/90), in its art. nº 2, which considers both the physical individual as well as the legal persona (as a legal entity or business) as users and consumers for airlines’ services.

Not only are the families of people killed in aviation accidents, but also those who bought and buy the ticket of their employees, who may claim for compensation from defects or damages that were caused by air transport service provided or promised to be done, that in the end, not, as in the Brazilian cases of air accidents that involved Air France, GOL / Legacy and TAM, which, not only did not render service as promised, with proper security, but were ultimately the reason of the tragic deaths of their passengers.

The crash of TAM, for example, occurred at Congonhas Airport, whether by negligence or willful misconduct of the company and its officers, killed 200 people, including professionals and executives who travel on business.

Companies that buy tickets celebrate a legal relationship of interest to the CDC. Thus buying tickets to their board members or employees, companies are also granted with the same rights as a regular consumer and their families.

The official report of Cenipa – Brazilian Centre for Research and Prevention of Aeronautical Accidents, on the crash of TAM concluded that the tragedy happened, among other things, because of the poor training of the crew (captain on command and co-pilot).

As for the Rio de Janeiro-Paris flight of Air France, all information indicates that the accident resulted from a malfunction of equipment, whose maintenance had been ordered by Airbus itself days before the accident.

After these tragedies, in which companies have lost most talented partners and executives, both, the families of victims and the companies that bought the tickets, have the right to claim in the court of justice for compensation after material damages, moral damages and losses, because the moral suffering and falling of corporate earnings is visible, since, due to the tragedy, there was commotion and disruption of structures and business family.

This fact caused losses, lost profits, not to mention the wasting of years of education, professional training and research produced at a cost of hundreds of thousands of private dollars.

The CDC is the Brazilian standard that for the first time in the world touches this aspect, which, though obvious, was once ignored by the laws of our and other countries. Before the CDC, the companies that bought tickets for the benefit of their employees were not perceived as part of this relationship of consumption, thus those who cause damage by negligence or willful misconduct, shall indemnify the person or entity affected (art. 2 CRC).

We have to praise the Brazilian legislators and the Brazilian Judiciary, because they perceived the legal fact as a basis for equal judicial cases here and in other countries.

Brazil, therefore, may be appointed as the first country to acknowledge the right of executives who lost their partners in air accidents to seek compensation for their huge losses, along with the families of the victims.

In the district of Porto Alegre / State of Rio Grande do Sul, in the 1st Civil Court of the Regional Forum, conducted in secrecy and justice, there is a millionaire libel action against TAM. The author of demand is one of Brazil's most important companies in its sector.

The damages being claimed is compatible with moral damages, lost profits material loss and damage to its structure, colleagues and customers have suffered as a result of the disastrous landing of flight 3054, which occurred in Brazil, on 17/07/2007.

The secrecy granted by the Judge has the objective of avoiding public scrutiny photo identification of almost all the victims and to protect the airline from an avalanche of cases that it still deserves to suffer, since the right to seek compensation regarding this accident at the Aeronautics Code, decays in July 2010, while according to the CDC this right is guaranteed untill July 2012.
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