Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.
How do you value the loss of a life? It would seem that different countries value it differently.
Under an international treaty known as the Montreal Convention, an airline must pay $175,000 for the death of each individual, but there is scope for additional damages too.
This is where the amount owed can differ depending on the passenger’s country of origin. Experts estimate that the families of Americans lost on board MH370 could get up to $10 million, while the families of those from other countries may receive $400,000 per passenger.
To find out more about the legal complexities behind an airline tragedy, Max spoke to attorney Floyd Wisner. He’s handled many cases involving family members of people killed in aviation accidents.
Wisner said a lot of the difference is based on where the case is filed, and what the norm for compensation is in that country. "An American jury is going to award damages ten times the amount of a Chinese court."
Unfortunately, though, he said that this "places a greater value on an American life than on another life."