The families of those who went missing in the recent Malaysia Airlines tragedy promised to pursue all possible avenues in an effort to punish the Malaysian government and Malaysia Airlines for the accident. Unsurprisingly, they are wasting no time taking the case to court. The families have filed a USD 1.5 billion dollar lawsuit in the United States, seeking compensation from both Malaysia Airlines and Boeing.
The proceedings have been started by the Ribbeck Law Chartered firm, based out of Chicago. The law firm says it was approached by families from both China and Indonesia and specializes in aviation law. The law firm has stated that it expects about half of the families of victims to join the case.
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Malaysia Airlines: Firm confident in victory
Despite the fact that no plane, black box, or other information has yet been found, the firm is confident that it will succeed and notes that it has won cases without such information in the past. Already, representatives of the firm have claimed that they are 100 percent confident that they will win the suit.
Representatives pointed out that in the eyes of the law, victims are never at fault during an airline crash. The law firm thus believes that the biggest question is not whether the families will be compensated, but instead how much they will be compensated. The total coverage for compensation is USD1.5 billion dollars, so the law firm plans to pursue the full amount.
Jurisdiction questions may arise
Malaysia Airlines is based in Malaysia, however that does not mean that all of the lawsuits will be filed in the country. Jurisdiction in this case will be extremely tricky as it involves a Malaysian company, an American aircraft, and travelers from 15 different countries.
American families and those who purchased flight tickets in the United States should be able to pursue the case in the United States. Whether or not other families can also pursue legal cases in the United States remains to be seen. It might be possible that families will be able to pursue legal cases against Boeing in the United States, but not Malaysia Airlines.
Of course, The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) will likely try to claim that there is no proof that mechanical failure was involved. Without the black box, or at least recovered debris, it may prove to be impossible to determine why the aircraft crashed into the ocean.
This legal case will likely be very important for setting precedent for international law.