MH370 families loses bid to retain Malaysia Airlines, RMAF as defendants
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PUTRAJAYA, Nov 28 ― The next-of-kin of three passengers of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 lost their appeal today to retain Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB) and Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) as defendants in their lawsuit.
A five-man panel chaired by Chief Justice Tun Md Raus Sharif unanimously dismissed the appeals brought by the two children and parents of engineers Tan Ah Meng and wife Chuang Hsiu Ling @ Cindy Chuang.
The Malaysian Civil Aviation Department (DCA) director-general and Malaysian government were retained as defendants.
The panel also dismissed the DCA director-general and the government’s appeal to set aside the appellate court’s decision on Oct 27, last year to reinstate them as defendants.
The other judges on the panel were Court of Appeal President Tan Sri Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin and Federal Court judges Tan Sri Ramly Ali, Tan Sri Zaharah Ibrahim and Datuk Balia Yusof Wahi.
Justice Raus ordered the next of kin to pay RM10,000 in costs to MAB.
Following today’s decision, the defendants retained in the lawsuit are Malaysia Airlines System Berhad (MAS), DCA director-general and the government of Malaysia.
Ah Meng and Hsiu Ling and their eldest son, Tan Wei Chew, 16, were among 239 passengers and crew on board flight MH370 when the aircraft disappeared during a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014.
The couple’s teenage sons Tan Wei Hong and Tan Wei Jie, the parents of Ah Meng, Tan Hun Khong and Lai Chew Lai and the mother of Hsiu Ling, Chuang Hung Chien sued for damages over the loss of the couple and their son.
In their statement of claim, they alleged that MAS had breached its contract by failing to ensure that the airliner was in good condition, rendering the passengers and jetliner untraceable.
They further claimed that the negligence of the defendants had caused the two children to become orphans, who also lost their eldest brother and suffered trauma and loss including financial support and affection.
They named MAS, MAB, the DCA director-general, air force chief and the Malaysian government as defendants.
MAB, DCA director-general, air force chief and the Malaysian government had applied to strike out the suit in the High Court. The DCA director-general, air force chief and Malaysian Government except MAB, succeeded in their bid.
On Oct 7 last year, the Court of Appeal removed MAB as a defendant in the lawsuit.
Another panel of the appellate court allowed the next of kin to reinstate the DCA director-general and the Malaysian government as defendants but rejected their appeal to include the air force chief.
Lawyer Sangeet Kaur Deo represented the appellants, while counsel Logan Sabapathy represented MAB. Senior federal counsel Alice Loke acted for the DCA, air force chief and the government. ― Bernama