The family of two young boys whose father disappeared along with 239 people aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 have sued the airline and the Malaysian government in what is believed to be the first lawsuit associated with the plane’s mysterious disappearance.
Jee Jing Hang was aboard the plane, which disappeared on March 8 after taking off from Kuala Lumpur International Airport on its way to Beijing. There has been no sign of the plane since.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Jee Kinson, 13, and Jee Kinland, 11, Kuala Lumpur High Court on Friday, according to the Associated Press. The Malaysian civil aviation department is being sued for negligence for failing to contact the plane soon after it disappeared from radar. And the airline, already beleaguered by this tragedy and a second airline disaster this year, is being sued for breach of contract in failing to bring the passenger to his destination, according to the BBC.
Lawyers say the family is seeking an unspecified amount of monetary damages for mental distress, emotional pain and the loss of support, the AP said. The boys’ father operated an Internet business that brought in about $5,200 a month.
“Our clients are after the truth. We have confidence in our judiciary system that this suit will be heard and dealt with fairly,” the family’s legal team said in a statement.
It is unclear how strong the case against the airline could be — particularly given that months of search has turned up no evidence of the plane’s location. But the family’s lawyers believe they have good chance of prevailing.
“We have waited for eight months. After speaking to various experts, we believe we have sufficient evidence for a strong case,” said another lawyer for the family, Arunan Selveraj, according to the BBC. “A big plane missing in this age of technology is really unacceptable.”
Australian teams continue the search for MH370 in a remote part of the southern Indian Ocean, but the process is expected to take months.
“We could get extraordinarily lucky and find it very early,” Foley told reporters earlier this month, according to the AP. “We could find the debris field any day but the likelihood given the size of the area, we are in for the long haul. It will take many months.”
Malaysia Airlines is also reeling from a second disaster after another flight, MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine killing everyone on board. The dual tragedies hit the airline hard. Malaysian Airlines announced thousands of job cuts and a complete restructuring in a effort to shore up their business and consumer confidence in the airline’s safety.