KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 30 – The family of three passengers aboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 will file a suit against Putrajaya and the national carrier, eight months after it went missing presumably in the southern Indian Ocean. Legal firm Messrs Rusmah Arunan & Associates will file the suit on behalf of the plaintiff at the Kuala Lumpur High Court registry tomorrow.
The suit is being filed on behalf of the next of kin of Jee Jing Hang and his two children. The Malaysian Insider learned that MAS, the Civil Aviation Department, Immigration Department, and the Royal Malaysian Air Force would be those named as defendants in the suit for negligence, and in the case of MAS, breach of contract as well.
Flight MH370, with 227 passengers and 12 crew members, left the Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 12.41am on March 8, and disappeared from civilian radar about an hour later while over the South China Sea. Of the total number of passengers, 152 were Chinese citizens, including a group of 19 artists with six family members and four staff returning from a calligraphy exhibition of their work in Kuala Lumpur.
Thirty-eight passengers were Malaysians while the rest were from 13 other countries. The Boeing 777-200ER aircraft has yet to be found, even after an exhaustive search in the southern Indian Ocean where it is believed to have gone down after veering off course. The Malaysian Insider understands that Jee’s family decided to file the suit after giving the authorities time to locate the plane.
“To date, the missing plane has yet to be found and it has been more than eight months since the date of the incident,” a source said. The source said many questions were left unanswered and many theories have been uttered and opinions published. The situation has been further worsened and compounded by contradicting, differing and unsubstantiated statements made by many parties, causing anguish, doubts and misery for the next of kin of all those aboard MH370.
Soon after the plane vanished, there were attempts to file suits against MAS outside Malaysia. On March 31, a Chicago judge dismissed a civil action by a local law firm and scolded lawyers for what she described as an improper filing on behalf of a relative of a passenger on missing MH370. Judge Kathy Flanagan dismissed the request in a ruling, saying it did not conform to Illinois law.
In a step towards a full-fledged lawsuit, Ribbeck Law Chartered had requested a Cook County court to order MAS and Chicago-based Boeing Co to produce documents related to the plane’s disappearance. Ribbeck spokesman Mervin Mateo was reported to have said that the firm still planned a lawsuit if and when plane wreckage is found.