Wednesday, 26 March 2014

MAS and Boeing faces probable lawsuit

A family member holding on to a photo of Firman Chandra Siregar

KUALA LUMPUR: A father of a passenger on board the tragic Malaysia Airlines (MAS) MH370 flight has filed an application with a US court on Tuesday and is expected to bring about a multimillion lawsuit against Malaysia Airlines (MAS) and Boeing.

Januari Siregar, the father of Indonesian passenger Firman Chandra Siregar, filed an application at the Illinois state court, seeking information and records from both MAS and Boeing, according to aBloomberg report.

The application was filed on behalf of Januari by Chicago-based Ribbeck Law Chartered, one of the leading aviation law firms in the world.

Januari is seeking 26 items include data on possible defects in the missing Boeing-built 777-200 ER or its component parts, the airline’s training of its crew, and information about its cargo.

A partner of the law firm Monica Kelly was quoted as saying that Januari is arguing that "possible design and manufacturing defects that may have contributed to the disaster".

The application is also seeking the identity of the company or person who last inspected the fuselage and who provided maintenance, according to aReuters report.

The petition also asks the judge to order MAS to produce information about crew training for catastrophic incidents, security practices, safety training and crew evaluations.

The law firm said the petition seeking evidence is the same request it used when it began legal proceedings against Asiana Airlines Inc after the July 6 crash of another 777-200 at San Francisco International Airport which killed three people and injured 181.

MH370 vanished from the radar shortly after taking off from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) en route to Beijing on March 8.

It carried with it 239 people on-board.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on Monday, March 24, said that the plane probably ended up in the southern Indian Ocean, southwest of Perth, with MAS officials said that it is now assumed that there were no survivors.

Family members of one of the passengers on-board Malaysia Airlines (MAS) MH370 flight, Firman Siregar, still believes that Firman is safe and not in the Indian Ocean.

Mervin Mateo, a spokesman for the firm, was quoted as saying that if the wreckage is not found, there would be little or no evidence they can rely on.

“We are hoping against hope that they do find the wreckage of the plane and the black box,” said Mateo, who also said also said a litigation could be carried out based on the firm’s investigation.

“We’re thinking it’s probably something wrong with the plane or the training of the pilots,” Mateo said, adding that a hijacking or some other cause can’t be ruled out.

Under the Montreal Convention of 1999, an international treaty that covers air travel, carriers are required to pay damages for each passenger killed or injured in an accident, even if its cause is unknown.

Following the treaty, the airline’s liability could stand at more than $40 million (RM132.12 million). Each families of those on board the flight could receive as much as US$175,000 (RM578,025) or more in compensation from MAS.

If the airline isn’t able to show that sole fault for the plane’s loss lies with another party — such as the airplane’s maker or terrorists — its liability under the treaty may be higher.

Astro Awani 

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