Lawsuit filed in the US against Boeing over disappearance of flight MH370

A suspected piece of aircraft debris found on the coast of Mozambique, with Malaysia's transport minister saying there was a high possibility it came from a Boeing 777, the same model as missing flight MH370.
A suspected piece of aircraft debris found on the coast of Mozambique, with Malaysia's transport minister saying there was a high possibility it came from a Boeing 777, the same model as missing flight MH370. PHOTO: AFP

KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - The family of an MH370 passenger has brought a lawsuit against Boeing in what is believed to be the first case filed in the United States against the manufacturer of the missing plane.

The suit was filed last week in Chicago, where Boeing is headquartered, on behalf of MH370 passenger and US citizen Philip Wood.

It alleges that the Boeing 777 aircraft flown by Malaysia Airlines was a defective product and seeks court-determined compensation, according to a copy of the complaint.

The Boeing suit said the flight's disappearance was due in part to the aircraft's lack of "readily available and reasonable alternative technologies that would have permitted the Boeing airplane's precise location to be tracked in real-time anywhere on the planet".

It also said the failure so far to find a crash site indicated Boeing had equipped the jet's black boxes with "ineffectual" underwater locator beacons, and that the lack of evidence pointing to any non-mechanical cause indicates an aircraft problem.

"A reasonable inference that can be drawn from all of the available evidence is that the disappearance of flight MH370 was the result of one or more defects in the manufacture and or design of the Boeing airplane," said the complaint.

Tuesday (March 8) marks exactly two years since the flight vanished en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 passengers and crew.

The authorities believe it veered out over the remote southern Indian Ocean, where it went down, but no crash site has been found and the cause of the tragedy remains unknown.

The second anniversary is the deadline for legal action against the airline, and lawsuits have been filed in recent days on behalf of well over 100 next-of-kin in courts in the United States, Malaysia, China, Australia, and elsewhere.