KUALA LUMPUR: A High Court has ordered Malaysia Airlines to respond to the civil suit filed by the next-of-kin of six MAS crew members on board the ill-fated Flight MH17 over claims of breach of contract and negligence.
Its deputy registrar Mohamad Shafiq Mohd Sazali directed Malaysian Airline System Bhd (MAS) and Malaysia Airlines Bhd (MAB), named as defendants in the civil action, to file their respective statements of defence by July 27.
Speaking to reporters after the parties met the deputy registrar in chambers, the plaintiffs’ lawyer S. Malini said the case was slotted for case management on Aug 29 before High Court judge Justice Hue Siew Kheng.
MAS lawyer Lai Wai Fong confirmed the details.
The next-of-kin of the crew members had on June 2 sued MAS and MAB for alleged negligence and breach of contract.
Flight MH17, a Boeing 777-200ER airliner, was shot down while on a scheduled flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur on July 17, 2014.The crash, which killed all 298 on board, is believed to have been caused by a surface-to-air missile in eastern Ukraine..
The crew members are in-flight supervisor Mohd Ghafar Abu Bakar, leading flight stewardess Lee Hui Pin, flight stewardesses Chong Yee Pheng, Hamfazlin Sham Mohamed Arifin, Nur Shazana Mohamed Salleh and flight steward Sanjid Singh Sandhu.
In the statement of claim, Sharom Bee Mohamed Ibrahim, 60, (the mother of Nur Shazana), Tan Bee Geok, 46, (Sanjid’s widow) and Chong Seng See, 45 (Yee Pheng’s brother) are among the 11 plaintiffs.
The plaintiffs said MAS and its successor were liable under the Montreal Convention 1999 for the injuries and death of their family members.
On the claim for negligence, they said MAS had a duty to provide a safe system of work for its employees but failed to take into account the instability of eastern Ukraine when preparing the flight plan.
On the claim for breach of contract, the plaintiffs said MAS failed to ensure there were trained risk assessment personnel, flight crew and operational staff that day.They said the defendants were liable under the provisions of the Carriage by Air Act 1974, the Montreal Convention 1999 and the Civil Law Act 1956 for the death of those crew members.
They are seeking general damages including for loss of support, pain and suffering and also special, aggravated and exemplary damages as well as damages for traumatic psychiatric injury, nervous shock and post-traumatic stress disorder.