Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Earth Science News .

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

MH370 lawsuits gain pace as two-year deadline nears
By Dan Martin
Kuala Lumpur (AFP) Feb 25, 2016

Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 next-of-kin have begun filing a slew of lawsuits over the plane's disappearance as a two-year deadline approaches on March 8, with some hopeful that court scrutiny will help reveal answers about what befell the ill-fated plane.

Several US, Malaysian and Australian law firms told AFP they had begin filing suit on behalf of dozens of relatives of the 239 people on board the flight, seeking undisclosed damages.

Under international agreements, families have two years to sue over air accidents.

Any damages are to be paid by the flag carrier's insurer, Germany-based Allianz, and thus would not impact the struggling airline's finances.

But some also plan to sue Malaysia's civil aviation authorities and military for losing track of MH370, attorneys said, and at least one will target aircraft manufacturer Boeing.

If successful, total payouts could reach into the "hundreds of millions" of dollars, said Joseph Wheeler, an Australian attorney who is seeking an out-of-court settlement for four Malaysian next-of-kin before the deadline.

"It's a full Boeing 777, so the claims will be substantial," said Wheeler.

The overnight flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing vanished soon after take-off on March 8, 2014.

Investigators believe it diverted and crashed in the southern Indian Ocean, but neither a crash site nor cause have been found.

- 'Intransigent' airline -

Under international agreements, families automatically get compensation totalling around $160,000 per passenger.

But they can sue for more, and Malaysia Airlines must prove it was not at fault, a tough task given the lack of clues.

Among major cases, 43 people, nearly all Chinese, sued in New York in early February, according to a copy of their case. MH370 carried 152 Chinese nationals.

A Miami-based firm is moving ahead with various lawsuits involving nearly 200 next of kin from several countries, said their attorney Roy Altman.

These include suing on behalf of all the clients against the airline and Malaysian government in Kuala Lumpur, and against Boeing in Chicago over possible aircraft malfunction.

The potential success of the various suits remains unclear given the unusual circumstances and jurisdictions, attorneys said.

Plaintiffs' lawyers offer mixed reports of the process, with some reporting smooth negotiations for out-of-court settlements, while some others complained of low offers from the Malaysian side.

"We tried to negotiate, but they were intransigent and left us no option but to file," Altman said.

Others complained that lawyers for the national carrier were threatening to have some cases struck out on grounds that a state-orchestrated rescue plan for the airline last year dissolved its previous holding company, Malaysia Air Systems (MAS).

A successor holding company claims no liability for MH370.

Voice370, an international next-of-kin network, this week called the move a "despicable act" to frustrate claims.

But the Malaysian administrator overseeing now-defunct MAS denied this Thursday, saying he had so far acceded to 96 requests for legal proceedings.

- 'Good faith' pledge -

"No requests have been rejected," administrator Mohammad Faiz Azmi said in a statement.

He said 42 next-of-kin had collected "full compensation" so far, giving no details.

He pledged a "good faith" effort to determine fair and equitable compensation, and said insurance would cover all reasonable claims.

Families accuse the airline and authorities of allowing MH370's disappearance through a slow, bungled response, withholding information, and treating families poorly.

The charges are strongly denied, but a number of miscues blotted Malaysia's chaotic reaction, including its air force's failure to act despite tracking the plane on radar for nearly an hour after it diverted.

Most relatives declined comment due to the pending legal action, but several expressed hope that court action could reveal more information.

"We can't let the world forget 239 lives. We can't let such a tragedy happen again," said Jack Song, a Chinese national whose sister was onboard.

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly

paypal only


Related Links
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
A world of storm and tempest
When the Earth Quakes

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
Brazil police charge seven in Samarco mine deaths: reports
Rio De Janeiro (AFP) Feb 23, 2016
Brazilian police charged six executives and another suspect Tuesday over the deaths of 19 people when a wastewater dam collapsed at an iron ore mine last year, media reported. The CEO of Samarco at the time of the November 5 tragedy, Ricardo Vescovi, was among the seven charged with homicide, Brazilian national media reported. The others were five executives and an engineer who had cert ... read more

Brazil police charge seven in Samarco mine deaths: reports

More Austrian troops to deal with migrant inflow

Taiwan vows new safety laws after quake disaster

Contested waters in NATO's new Aegean migrant mission

New research introduces 'pause button' for boiling

Mystery of Dracula orchids' mimicry is unraveled with a 3-D printer

Shrinking 3-D technology for comfortable smart phone viewing

Modified laser cutter prints 3-D objects from powder

Sea level rise in 20th century was fastest in 3,000 years, Rutgers-led study finds

Barrier Reef at greater risk than thought: study

Sea-level rise past and future: Robust estimates for coastal planners

Researchers sequence seagrass genome, unlocking valuable resource

Study of tundra soil demonstrates vulnerability of ecosystem to climate warming

Ice age blob of warm ocean water discovered south of Greenland

Australian icebreaker runs aground in Antarctica

Antarctic ice sheet is more vulnerable to CO2 than expected

New wheat genetic advancements aimed at yield enhancement

PM tells drought-stricken Thailand to cut rice production

Time of day can impact spray

Chinese buyer for Australia's largest dairy farm business

Fiji cyclone death toll rises to 42: official

Cyclone death toll hits 29 as Fiji eyes long clean-up

Christchurch commemorates devastating quake

Death toll rises as Fiji cleans up after 'strongest ever' cyclone

Voice of China: Beijing seeks African friends and influence

Kenya army says it killed Shebab intelligence chief

Three soldiers get life for I.Coast military chief's murder

Saving the wildlife 'miracle' of Congo's Garamba park

Easter Island not destroyed by war, analysis of 'spear points' shows

Neanderthals and modern H. sapiens crossbred over 100,000 years ago

Neanderthals mated with modern humans much earlier than previously thought

Modern 'Indiana Jones' on mission to save antiquities

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement