Father of Passenger on Missing Malaysian Flight Sues Airline, Boeing in Chicago
A Chicago law firm has filed the first lawsuit in the case of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 – the beginning of 'multi-million dollar litigation' against both Malaysia Airlines and Boeing for manufacturing the 777, believed to have crashed in the southwestern Indian Ocean.
The claim, filed on behalf of Dr. Januari Siregar in Cook County, Illinois, calls for Boeing and Malaysia Airlines to hand over any information that could indicate equipment malfunction or error that led to the plane crashing, ABC News reports. Siregar's son was on board Flight 370. It demands of the defendants "evidence of findings of corrosion and fractures in the fuselage of the Boeing 777 fleet that could lead to catastrophic fatal depressurization of the cockpit."
Siregar's attorneys filed a motion for discovery in anticipation of the lawsuit today. An attorney at the law firm tells ABC that they are not limiting the number of defendants to Malaysia Airlines and Boeing, suggesting that airplane part manufacturers may surface in the process of discovery as potential culpable parties. The discovery request could lead directly to a lawsuit against Malaysia Airlines, Boeing, and several other potential parties depending on what information surfaces, and such a lawsuit would require Malaysia Airlines to take to American courts regarding the flight. Litigation is also expected in China, as the majority of the plane's passengers were Chinese nationals.
The legal action is the first of its kind regarding the plane and follows an announcement by Malaysian authorities that they believe it "beyond a reasonable doubt" that Flight 370 crashed into the southwestern Indian ocean, about 1,500 miles west of Perth, Australia. No motive for the plane's changing direction from north to Beijing towards Australia has been given, as search operations continue to find debris that Chinese and Australian satellites have found floating near the assumed crash site.
In Beijing, the relatives of those on the flight have taken to the streets, surrounding the Malaysian embassy in the Chinese capital and demanding clearer answers to what happened to the flight. Many continue to believe that the plane did not crash, as no evidence has been given to corroborate the claim by Malaysian authorities. Acting transportation minister Hishammuddin Hussein said in a press conference Tuesday that the plane continued to "ping" a British satellite and that the pings showed the plane flying down across the "southern corridor." The last ping received was in the southwestern Indian Ocean.