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

  • Trudeau says housing is a human right — what does that mean exactly?

    Canada News CBC News
    As part of its ambitious national housing strategy, the Liberal government is vowing to enshrine the right to adequate housing as a fundamental human right in Canadian law, a symbolic move that has practical considerations. For years there has been an international push to do just that, and Canada is already a signatory to the UN-backed International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which recognizes housing as a right. Source
  • Refugee lawyers under 'major pressure' amid backlog of asylum claims

    Canada News CBC News
    Even as politicians in Quebec and Ottawa maintain they are prepared for any influx in asylum seekers, immigration lawyers working on the front lines say they are already struggling to deal with a backlog of refugee claimants. Source
  • Unpaid Zara garment workers say they still haven't seen a cent

    World News CBC News
    It was more than a job to them. "We were a family" is what many of the Turkish textile workers who helped make clothes for international fashion brands told CBC News this week. "We felt safe," Bahar Ugur, 26, said. Source
  • Two men charged with assaulting Dennis Oland in prison face sentencing

    Canada News CTV News
    MIRAMICHI, N.B. - Two Halifax men charged with assaulting Dennis Oland in a New Brunswick prison last July are to be sentenced today in Miramichi. Convicted killer Cody Alexander Muise and Aaron Marriott, who was convicted in a 2008 drug shooting, attacked Oland at Atlantic Institution in Renous, N.B. Source
  • Papua New Guinea officials pressure asylum seekers to leave camp

    World News CTV News
    CANBERRA, Australia - Papua New Guinea authorities on Thursday removed dozens of asylum seekers and ratcheted up pressure on more than 300 others to abandon a decommissioned immigration camp, where refugees reported their shelters, beds and other belongings have been destroyed. Source
  • Pope Francis to visit three Baltic nations next year

    World News CTV News
    COPENHAGEN - Pope Francis is planning a visit to Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia next year, when the three Baltic nations celebrate their 100th anniversaries. Daiva Ulbinaite, a spokeswoman for Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite, tells the Baltic News agency the visit is scheduled for autumn of 2018. Source
  • Argentina reports new clues in search for missing submarine

    World News CTV News
    MAR DEL PLATA, Argentina - Ships and planes hunting for a missing Argentine submarine with 44 crew members will return to a previously search area after officials said Wednesday that a noise made a week ago in the South Atlantic could provide a clue to the vessel's location. Source
  • Questions surround Mugabe's fate as Zimbabwe prepares for new leader

    World News CTV News
    HARARE, Zimbabwe - As Zimbabwe on Thursday prepared to swear in a new leader, Emmerson Mnangagwa, after 37 years, attention turned to the fate of Robert Mugabe and his wife. The 93-year-old Mugabe, who resigned on Tuesday as lawmakers began impeaching him, has not been seen outside a few photographs since his stunning speech to the nation on Sunday night in which he defied calls to step down. Source
  • Colombia rebels trade combat for cameras with new TV network

    World News CTV News
    BOGOTA - In a tiny bathroom, Marilu Ramirez prepares for her segment in a production studio by brushing her long black hair and covering her lashes in another coat of mascara, small luxuries in a life no longer being spent behind bars. Source
  • Ships, aircraft search for 3 missing after crash off Japan's coast

    World News CTV News
    TOKYO -- U.S. and Japanese ships and aircraft were searching in the Philippine Sea on Thursday for three sailors missing since a U.S. Navy aircraft crashed a day earlier. Eight people were rescued about 40 minutes after the crash of the C-2 "Greyhound" transport aircraft Wednesday afternoon, the Navy said. Source