BEIJING - Families of the Chinese passengers on board missing Flight MH370 are seeking legal advice to initiate lawsuits against the companies involved in the tragedy.
A committee, which was set up by the families last week to represent their interests, is in talks with Chicago-based law firm Ribbeck Law over a possible group lawsuit against Malaysia Airlines, said a panel member who works in France but returned to China because his parents were on the plane.
The committee member, who did not want to be identified, said the families were considering hiring a foreign law firm because "they are more experienced".
China Daily reported that the committee was still soliciting opinions from all relatives.
Zhang Qihuai, vice-president of aviation law research for the China Law Society, said some families had asked him about the possible lawsuits.
The MH370 jetliner carried 227 passengers and 12 crew including 154 Chinese nationals. It has been missing since its departure from Kuala Lumpur for Beijing on March 8.
On March 24, Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced that the aircraft "ended" its flight in the southern Indian Ocean.
Zhang said usually the families could file a lawsuit at the conclusion of an air crash but this tragedy was special. "And, since Malaysia has announced the plane crash, the families could turn to the courts now," he said.
In Putrajaya, family representatives who had been in Malaysia since March 12 awaiting news of the fate of their loved ones handed over a petition to China's special envoy Zhang Yesui yesterday.