The USA has adopted the Montreal Convention, lifting 70-year-old limits on airline liability on international flights set by the Warsaw Convention and clearing the way for worldwide adoption of the simplified pact.

Montreal gives US citizens the right to sue in the USA even if the accident occurred elsewhere. Significantly, it clarifies that codesharing carriers are both fully liable for damages.

The new rules guarantee relatives of people killed in aviation accidents compensation of $141,000 whether or not an airline is at fault, and allows higher compensation unless the airline can prove another party was at fault. The system also raises damage limits for non-fatal accidents.

The Warsaw limit was $75,000, although in 1996, under prodding from the US government, the US majors and many foreign carriers serving the USA agreed to waive that limit.

The Senate simultaneously approved an accord that simplifies rules on shipping cargo, allowing more electronic records.

Source: Airline Business