Date
21 October 2017
A relative of a passenger on missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 cries at a temple in Beijing. Family members filed lawsuits against the airline and other parties one day before a deadline for legal action expires. Photo: Reuters
A relative of a passenger on missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 cries at a temple in Beijing. Family members filed lawsuits against the airline and other parties one day before a deadline for legal action expires. Photo: Reuters

Families of MH370 passengers file lawsuits on eve of deadline

Lawsuits over missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 have been filed in Beijing and Kuala Lumpur, less than 24 hours before a deadline for legal action expires.

The lawsuits were brought by relatives of 12 Chinese passengers in Beijing courts and by another group of family members of 32 victims in the Malaysian caoital Kuala Lumpur.

They want the courts to help establish what happened to the plane, BBC news reports.

MH370 disappeared on March 8, 2014 while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board.

Under international agreements, relatives have two years following an air accident to begin legal action.

Zhang Qihuai, the lawyer for the 12 families, said they were seeking a range of damages but their goal was to determine the cause of the accident and those who were responsible.

The total compensation requested from Malaysia Airlines, Boeing, engine manufacturer Rolls Royce and insurance companies range from 10 mllion yuan (US$1.5 million) to 70 million yuan per family, French news agency AFP reported, citing Zhang

Verdicts might not come for two years, he said. The companies have not commented.

Many relatives were crying as they presented their documents to court officials.

Some said they hoped to use the action to obtain more information about the case.

“Today we came to demand our people back. We come every day. We demand to have our people back everyday, we want our relatives,” Dai Shuqin, whose sister was on board the flight, told Reuters.

In Kuala Lumpur, lawyer Ganesan Nethi said he filed a joint lawsuit on behalf of the relatives of 32 passengers on Thursday.

He said most were Chinese, along with one American and a few Indians, AP reported.

The lawsuit named the airline, the Malaysian government and its air force and civil aviation department, he said.

It was not immediately clear how many lawsuits have been filed in total or how many cases have been settled in relation to MH370.

Meanwhile, ships in the Indian Ocean are still searching for the missing Boeing 777, in an operation that is estimated to have cost more than US$130m.

Mozambican civil aviation officials handed over suspected debris from the missing flight to Malaysian experts.

If confirmed, the object found by an American amateur investigator would be the second piece of known debris from the aircraft to be found.

Last year authorities found a piece of the plane’s wing on the shore of Reunion island in the Indian Ocean.

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FL/RA

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