US lawyers gearing up for MH370 lawsuits after waiting period

Today marks 46 days since Malaysia Airlines flight 370 vanished over the southern Indian Ocean.

For the legal fraternity in the United States, it is officially Day 1.

According to CNN, the US enforces a 45-day rule for how long American lawyers have to wait before reaching out to a family that has lost a loved one in a plane crash.

The waiting period over, lawyers can talk to the families and start filing lawsuits in American courts against US aircraft manufacturer Boeing.

Missingflight (Copy)

However, there is one little snag to this… there is no plane wreckage, no debris, nothing. It is like a murder without a body, the burden of proof let alone a viable case becomes that much harder.

Over in the southern Indian Ocean, west of Perth, Australia’s Joint Agency Coordination Centre said the mini-submarine, Bluefin-21, started its 10th mission today, after nine previous unsuccessful attempts to find any trace of the missing plane in the deepest waters of the ocean.

The Bluefin-21 has now scanned about two-thirds of the intended territory without finding any sign of the missing plane.

Meanwhile, back in the US, aviation attorney Daniel Rose, a partner at the firm Kreindler & Kreindler, told CNN, “If we don’t have the black box with all the critical information on it, or we don’t have any part of the wreckage, it would be very hard to maintain a claim against Boeing in any court in the United States.”

Despite the restrictions and the waiting period, one US-based case against Malaysia Airlines and Boeing is already in the works.

One law firm took the early initiative by coming all the way to Malaysia and China, having a press conference and letting families of lost MH370 passengers approach them instead.

Aviation law specialists Ribbeck Law Chartered took the initiative, claiming to be approached initially by Januari Siregar, an Indonesian whose son was onboard flight MH370.

The firm’s lawyer Monica Kelly filed a request for documents and other information in an Illinois court last month.

Though Boeing may be spared the lawsuits for now, the same can’t be said for Malaysia Airlines, CNN reported.

The Montreal Convention governs such matters.

Which means that under international law, the families of the passengers can sue the airline in the country where the passengers bought the ticket, where the airline is based or their final destination.

All this still means little for the families awaiting news of their loved ones.

In Beijing, the latest attempt to hold a high-level meeting with officials from the Malaysian government and the airline proved futile as the families of Chinese passengers demanded to be briefed by technical experts instead.

The relatives wept, begged and cursed a Malaysian diplomat at a briefing held at the Lido Hotel in Beijing.

“We don’t know at this point whether they are alive or dead. And you haven’t given us any direct proof of where they actually are. We want our loved ones back,” a father of a missing passenger cried.

According to CNN, relatives have drawn up 26 questions - many of them on technical issues - that they want addressed by Malaysian officials.

The questions include: What’s in the flight’s log book? Can they review the jet’s maintenance records? Can they listen to recordings of the Boeing 777 pilot’s conversations with air traffic controllers just before contact was lost?

The Malaysian diplomat who was in the firing line of vitriol from the relatives told CNN that it is hard to give families answers when they have so little information themselves about the March 8 flight that set off from Kuala Lumpur, destined for Beijing.

Because of the plane’s flight path, most of the lawsuits against Malaysia Airlines would be filed in China or Malaysia.

However, for the families of the three Americans who were onboard the Boeing 777, lawsuits against Malaysia Airlines can also be filed in US courts.

One aviation law specialist CNN spoke to believes that based on her experience, families could receive between US$400,000 (RM1.3 million) and US$3 million (RM9.8 million) in damages.

She warned, however, that it could take at least two years before any payout takes place. – April 22, 2014.

US lawyers gearing up for MH370 lawsuits after waiting period
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About chris
Christopher Paiva is founder and editor-in chief of He is an author and publisher, His Main Goal is to Get Alternative, Independent News Out Everywhere. Do Not Trust The Mainstream Media!
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