Families of MH370 victims sue Malaysia Airlines, four other companies for compensation
Families of the missing flight MH370 are waiting outside the Beijing Railway Transport Court on Monday. Photo: The Beijing News
A pre-trial hearing was held in Beijing on Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning in a case in which families of 14 passengers on the missing flight MH370 filed suit for more information about the flight and compensation for their material and psychological damages. 
The pre-trial held at the Beijing Railway Transport Court which was instructed to handle cases related to the missing MH370 by the Beijing Higher People’s Court in February 2016 was the first among all the 36 cases, according to Chinese newspaper The Beijing News.
Flight MH370, which was on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014, was reported missing and all 239 passengers and crew members were declared dead.
According to Zhang Qihuai, the lawyer of the 14 missing passengers’ families, the compensation sought by the families ranges from 10 million yuan to 74.9 million yuan. Zhang said the pre-trial hearing was aimed at exchanging evidence and clarifying appeals of the plaintiffs, according to The Beijing News.
“The plaintiffs want to know the current situation of the missing MH370 and want the defendants to investigate the cause of the incident and identify the people responsible,” Zhang said. 
The five defendants are American aircraft manufacturer Boeing, British engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce, German insurance firm Allianz, Malaysia Airlines and Malaysia Airlines Berhad, successor of Malaysia Airlines.. 
One of the plaintiffs, Li Xiuzhi, 67, was asking for 14.7 million yuan in compensation from the defendants as well as an investigation into the causes of the incident.
However, the five defendants have denied their responsibility for the incident, according to the newspaper.
Malaysia Airlines cited the Convention on International Civil Aviation as saying that it is the responsibility of the country of the region where the incident happened to conduct the investigation. Malaysia Airlines Berhad said it was not involved when the incident happened. 
“The five defendants passed the buck during the pre-trail and the victims’ families were outraged about it. The defendants showed no comfort to the plaintiffs,” Zhang told the China News Service on Tuesday, adding that the plaintiffs will prepare more evidence for the upcoming trial. 
After 327 days of futile search for the vanished plane, Malaysia’s Department of Civil Aviation officially declared the disappearance of missing MH370 flight as an accident and its passengers and crew presumed dead on January 29, 2015.
The pre-trail hearing which was set to be held for five days until November 24 was concluded three days in advance. The upcoming trail will be held in spring 2018 at the earliest, Zhang told China News Service. 


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