MH370 families rush to file lawsuits ahead of deadline

Kuala Lumpur, March 4 (IANS) More next-of-kin of those on board the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 are filing suits as the deadline for legal action against the carrier approaches.

The Montreal Convention stipulates that cause of action against an airline has to be brought within two years of the day of travel or the date the aircraft should have arrived at its destination.

On Friday, at least 11 suits seeking damages were brought by family members against the airline, the government and other relevant bodies at the Kuala Lumpur High Court, Channel News Asia reported.

More applications are expected to be filed next week before the deadline expires on March 8.

Malaysian Airline Flight MH370, a Boeing 777-200ER, disappeared on March 8, 2014, en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, with a total of 239 people on board. Two years into the disappearance, the search operation in the southern Indian Ocean has yielded no concrete results so far.

On February 23, VOICE370, an international network of next-of-kin, issued a statement complaining of restrictions to filing suits, such as legally requiring the permission of the administrator of Malaysia Airlines System Berhad (MAS) to do so.

On Friday, the court heard an application by the government, MAB, the director-general of the Department of Civil Aviation and the chief of the Royal Malaysian Air Force to strike out a suit filed by the two teenage children and relatives of Tan Ah Meng and Chuang Hsiu Ling – who were onboard the plane with their eldest child, Tan Wei Chew, 19.

The defendants argued the family’s suit seeking unspecified damages for negligence, breach of contract and breach of statutory duty were “frivolous, vexatious and an abuse of the court process”.

Flight MH370, a Boeing 777-200ER, disappeared on March 8, 2014, en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, with a total of 239 people on board.

Two years into the disappearance, the search operation in the southern Indian Ocean has yielded no concrete results so far.

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