Some families filing claim against Boeing and MAS over MH370

KUALA LUMPUR - Family members of some victims onboard the ill-fated Flight MH370 are filing a RM4.95bil suit for compensation, against Boe­ing and Malaysia Airlines.


Chicago-based firm Ribbeck Law Chartered, which is acting for the family members, has filed a petition of discovery in a court in Illinois, Chicago.

Monica Kelly, the lead lawyer from Ribbeck Law, said the firm which specialises in aviation law, had been approached by family members from China and Indonesia.

Of the 239 people on board the MH370, there were 153 China nationals, 50 Malaysians, and seven Indonesians.

Kelly said they spoke to family members in many countries and expected about half of those affected to take part in the suit.

"We have done many cases where wreckage was completely destroyed, or no bodies found, or wreckage found but no black boxes working. We are not relying on these things to start the legal process," said Kelly, during a briefing to the press here.

She said such suits can take anywhere between four months to five years, but expects this case to take between one-and-a-half to two years.

The firm would focus its suit against Boeing, as they believe it was a case of equipment malfunction but could expand the defendants to include other component manufacturers or even those who trained the crew.

Manuel Von Ribbeck, of Ribbeck Law, said in law, passengers were never at fault, and it was merely a matter of ensuring the families were compensated fully.

"We hope that miracles can happen, but based on the data we've seen so far, it does not look good for the flight and her passengers," said Ribbeck.

Boeing, the manufacturers of the 777-200 aircraft, has been on the receiving end of a number of lawsuits in the past.

The most recent lawsuit was in January this year by a group of passengers, represented by Ribbeck Law, who were aboard an Asiana Airlines flight that crash-landed in San Francisco on July 6 last year.

Three people were killed and more than 180 others hurt.