High Court Strikes Out Lawsuit Filed By Families Of MH370 Passengers

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KUALA LUMPUR, Jul 27 – The High Court here Tuesday granted the application by the Department of Civil Aviation and three others to strike out the lawsuit filed by family members of passengers aboard the doomed MH370 flight. Judicial Commissioner Azizul Azmi Adnan struck out the suit made against DCA, the Immigration Department, the former Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) Chief General Tan Sri Rodzali Daud, and RMAF, after finding that the plaintiffs had no cause of action against the four defendants. 

However, the court rejected the application to strike out the suit filed by five other defendants – Malaysia Airlines System Berhad (MAS), Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB), DCA director-general Datuk Seri Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, former Immigration director-general Datuk Aloyah Mamat and the Government of Malaysia. Senior federal counsel Alice Loke, when contacted, said the court had set Sept 8 for management of the case. 

The negligence lawsuit was filed on Feb 25 by K. Sri Devi, 32, the widow of S. Puspanathan, 33, and their two sons, aged two and four, as well as the deceased’s parents, G. Subramaniam and wife, A. Amirathan, both aged 62. In the statement of claims, the plaintiffs said the deceased was among the 227 passengers and 12 crew on board Boeing 777-200ER with flight number MH370 which departed at 12.41am from Kuala Lumpur International Airport and expected to arrive in Beijing, China, on March 8, 2014. 

The plaintiffs claimed that at about 1.21am, the flight MH370 suddenly disappeared from the DCA radar but remained on the RMAF radar, which also detected it travelling to several states including Kelantan, Perak and Penang, but the plaintiffs claimed that MAS failed to detect it. 

They also claimed that the DCA director-general failed to provide safe, efficient and organised regulations for air traffic control service, flight information and warning service, and failed to track down and search for the aircraft on military radar immediately after they lost contact. 

As such, the plaintiffs claimed compensation totaling RM32 million for the loss of support, loss of contributions to the Employee Provident Fund account of the deceased who was working for a multi-national company as administrative consultant earning a monthly salary of RM14,460, and loss of medical benefits to the family. 

In additional, they also claimed aggravated and exemplary damages, costs, and other relief deemed fit by the court. On Jan 29 last year, DCA director-general Azharuddin representing the Malaysian government announced the loss of flight MH370 as an accident under international aviation regulations, and all 239 passengers and crew on board were deemed to have lost their lives. — Bernama

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