Family of seven MH17 passengers file suit against Malaysia Airlines

Journalists look at parts of the Malaysia Airlines plane of flight MH17 at the crash site near the Grabove village in eastern Ukraine, on Nov 11, 2014.
Journalists look at parts of the Malaysia Airlines plane of flight MH17 at the crash site near the Grabove village in eastern Ukraine, on Nov 11, 2014.PHOTO: AFP

KUALA LUMPUR (The Star/Asia News Network) - The next of kin of seven passengers of the ill-fated flight MH17 have filed a civil suit against Malaysia Airlines for alleged breach of contract and negligence.

All 298 passengers and crew - the majority of them Dutch - died when Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was hit by a Russian-made BUK anti-aircraft missile while flying over war-torn eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014.

The 11 plaintiffs filed the suit on behalf of four Indonesians and three Dutch nationals at the High Court registry on Friday (July 15).

Counsel Dr S. Arunan declined to reveal the names of the plaintiffs and the deceased.

He said the deceased were aged between two and 74.

In the statement of claim, they named MAS as the defendant.

They alleged that the passengers were on MAS Flight MH17 to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam.

They said at the material time, Flight MH17 was flying over a conflict zone in eastern Ukraine.

The next of kin claimed that the passengers were travelling under a contract of carriage governed by and regulated under the Montreal Convention 1999.

They said the fare-paying passengers were killed when the plane crashed near Hrabove, in the eastern part of Ukraine, on July 17, 2014.

They said they had obtained consent of administration as required by the Malaysia Airline System Bhd (Administration) Act 2015 to file the suit.

The plaintiffs are seeking monetary damages (general damages to be assessed), special damages, costs, interest and further relief as the court deems fit.

Meanwhile, counsel Shailender Bhar, who acted for 30 plaintiffs, filed eight suits involving eight MH17 victims - two passengers and six cabin crew members.

He said the suit alleged breach of contract, negligence and breach of statutory duties by MAS.

Shailender said his clients are claiming, among others, for loss of support, loss of contribution from the employer and loss of medical benefits.

He said the names of the plaintiffs cannot be disclosed.

A total of 283 passengers and 15 crew members were killed in the MH17 crash.