Malaysian woman sues over Flight 370, more lawsuits expected

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- A woman who lost her husband on Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 sued the airline and the government Thursday at the beginning of an expected rush of lawsuits before a filing deadline next month on the second anniversary of the plane's disappearance.

See Full Article

The Boeing 777 carrying 239 flew far off course for unknown reasons after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing on March 8, 2014. A search of the southern Indian Ocean has found no trace of the plane, though a wing part from the aircraft washed ashore on Reunion Island last year.

A global aviation agreement sets a two-year deadline for lawsuits by next-of-kin over air accidents.

Malaysian K.Sri Devi, 32, her two young sons and parents-in-law are seeking 32 million ringgit ($7.6 million) in damages over the alleged wrongful death of S.Puspanathan, due to alleged negligence and breach of contract by the airline and government agencies, lawyer Shailender Bhar said.

The lawsuit also named the immigration department, as well as the civil aviation department and the Malaysian air force, for losing track of the plane.

"They were waiting for some development in the search for the plane but nothing has been forthcoming so far. Everyone is hoping for some answers through the court," Bhar told The Associated Press.

An Australian-based woman, Jennifer Chong, whose husband Chong Ling Tan was on the flight, filed similar claims in Australia last week, alleging the airline was negligent in failing to ensure passengers' safety.

Lawyer Arunan Selvaraj, who said he is representing next-of-kin of 15 passengers, expects to file lawsuits next week. He said some families were negotiating for settlements with the airline but the approaching deadline means most are under pressure to file a claim.

"Till today, the only thing they had found was the flaperon. There are no other clues. Many people are still in denial and there are so many theories as to what had happened. Families want justice and the truth," Arunan said.

A Boeing 777 flaperon was found on an island in the western Indian Ocean in July and confirmed by the Malaysian and French governments to come from the ill-fated flight. Drift modelling has shown that currents could have carried the debris from the southern Indian Ocean to Reunion Island in the timeframe between the flight date and when the part was found.

But no other parts of the plane have been found and the current search is expected to end by June or July.

An international aviation agreement allows each next-of-kin of passengers on board a plane up to $175,000 in compensation, but a plaintiff filing a lawsuit can seek more.

Arunan said next-of-kins, however, face hurdles in filing lawsuits.

The airline holding company, Malaysia Airlines Systems (MAS), was dissolved in a massive restructuring last year and was replaced with a new entity, Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB).

Next-of-kins must first seek consent from the administrator of MAS to sue the airline.

The administrator, Mohammad Faiz Azmi, said in a statement Wednesday he had given consent to 96 next-of-kins and that he had not rejected any requests.

He said 42 collected "full compensation" so far, without giving details.

Arunan, however, said conditions were attached to the consent given to some of his clients, including not naming MAB or any third parties in their lawsuit.

"Why is the administrator protecting third parties? What happens if the civil aviation department or the air force was found to be at fault and we didn't name them in the suit?" he said.

Some next-of-kins are also concerned that by not naming MAB, they may not receive payment even if they win the suit as MAS may not be able to pay, he added.

Voice 370, a next-of-kin support group, said in a statement this week that all monies, assets and airline business have been transferred to MAB and there may be nothing left in MAS to sue them. It called the move to shield the airline a "despicable act of irresponsibility and cowardice."



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • New earthquake, magnitude 6.1, shakes jittery Mexico [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    MEXICO CITY — A strong new earthquake shook Mexico on Saturday, toppling already damaged homes and a highway bridge and causing new alarm in a country reeling from two even more powerful quakes this month that together have killed nearly 400 people. Source
  • NFL responds to Donald Trump's call to fire players who take a knee during anthem

    World News Toronto Sun
    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — President Donald Trump says National Football League owners should fire players who kneel during the national anthem. And he’s encouraging spectators to walk out in protest. In an extended riff during a freewheeling rally speech in Alabama Friday night, Trump also bemoaned that football games have become less violent. Source
  • Soul singer Charles Bradley dead at age 68

    World News CBC News
    Singer Charles Bradley, seen here performing in June in Pasadena, Calif., has died according to a tweet from his official account. Source
  • New Zealand PM wins most votes but needs help to form gov't

    World News CTV News
    AUCKLAND, New Zealand -- Prime Minister Bill English's National Party won the most votes in New Zealand's general election on Saturday but not enough to form a government without help from other political parties. That means New Zealanders may need to wait for days or even weeks to confirm whether English will retain the top job as the various parties try to negotiate with each other to form a coalition. Source
  • McCain's choice: Ailing senator plays spoiler again for GOP

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- John McCain faced a choice that balanced friendship, party loyalty and his convictions. He made the decision some of his closest advisers expected. Looking at the twilight of his career and a grim cancer diagnosis, the Republican senator from Arizona who prides himself on an independent streak could not be moved to go along with a last-ditch GOP push to overhaul the nation's health care system. Source
  • New earthquake, magnitude 6.1, shakes jittery Mexico

    World News Toronto Sun
    MEXICO CITY — A strong new earthquake shook Mexico on Saturday, toppling already damaged homes and a highway bridge and causing new alarm in a country reeling from two even more powerful quakes this month that together have killed nearly 400 people. Source
  • Earthquake in North Korea briefly stokes nuclear fears

    World News CBC News
    A minor but mysterious earthquake in North Korea on Saturday, close to where the country recently conducted a nuclear test, briefly set off concerns it might have been caused by an explosion, though South Korean officials tried to allay those fears. Source
  • Donald Trump tells Warriors star Stephen Curry that White House visit is off

    World News Toronto Sun
    SOMERSET, N.J. — President Donald Trump says if a basketball player doesn’t want to visit the White House to celebrate an NBA title, then don’t bother showing up. Trump responded Saturday on Twitter to Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry, who has made clear he’s not interested in a traditional White House trip. Source
  • 'Get that son of a bitch off the field': Donald Trump says NFL should fire players who kneel during anthem

    World News Toronto Sun
    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — President Donald Trump says National Football League owners should fire players who kneel during the national anthem. And he’s encouraging spectators to walk out in protest. In an extended riff during a freewheeling rally speech in Alabama Friday night, Trump also bemoaned that football games have become less violent. Source
  • People flee homes and hotels as earthquake aftershocks hit Mexico

    World News CBC News
    Alarms sounded in Mexico City as a new earthquake struck Saturday morning, prompting people with fresh memories of this week's devastating tremor to flee homes and hotels. The quake was much weaker than the magnitude 7.1 earthquake that hit on Tuesday, killing at least 295 people and knocking down buildings across the capital. Source