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In China, court begins hearing Malaysia Airlines’ flight MH370 compensation claims from passengers’ families

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 27 — A court in Beijing, China will begin hearing today lawsuits from the families of the passengers of doomed Flight MH370, where they are seeking compensation from Malaysia Airlines.

According to US-based news outlet CNN, 50-year-old Jiang Hui — whose 70-year-old mother was returning from a holiday in Malaysia on the MH370 flight which went missing while flying to Beijing on March 8, 2014 — is one of China’s nationals demanding compensation through court cases.

CNN reported that Jiang’s lawsuit is against Malaysia Airlines, its insurer Allianz, aircraft manufacturer Boeing and the plane’s engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce, and that he is demanding compensation, a formal apology, psychological assistance to the family members to resume, and a fund to be created to resume searches for the jetliner.

In an interview with CNN, Jiang said the families who had refused to accept settlement offers over flight MH370 did not receive any apology or any compensation.

Jiang said about 40 families in China had filed lawsuits against those companies with different but mostly overlapping demands, and that these court hearings — scheduled to begin today at the Chaoyang District People’s Court in Beijing — are expected to go on until December 5.

For Jiang’s own lawsuit, the court hearing is scheduled for this Friday.

These lawsuits in China had been filed more than seven years ago, CNN reported.

Separately, news agency AFP reported that Beijing’s state-run China Daily has also reported the hearings, citing Jiang. The hearing was not listed on the court’s public website.

It also reported that families of the victims, as well as the media, have gathered outside the court this morning.

MH370 had 239 persons on board, with 153 of them being citizens of China.

CNN quoted Boeing as saying in a statement to it regarding the court hearings in China: “Our thoughts continue to be with those who were on board MH370 and their loved ones.”

CNN said it has contacted Malaysia Airlines, Allianz and Rolls-Royce for a response. Malay Mail is seeking a response from the Ministry of Transport and its minister Anthony Loke.

According to CNN, enforcement of any court orders in China against the companies sued is uncertain, as all the companies are international firms with headquarters outside China. CNN noted however that Malaysia Airlines, Boeing and Rolls-Royce have offices located in China.

Families in China who signed a settlement agreement with Malaysia Airlines had received 2.5 million yuan (or over RM1.6 million by today’s exchange rates) in compensation, with CNN saying that only dozens of Chinese families initially took up the offer and that more families later also settled after the Covid-19 pandemic.

The roughly 40 remaining families who still refused to take up the settlement offer had turned the offer down as it would remove Malaysia Airlines and the Malaysian government’s responsibility over flight MH370.

Source: Malay Mail

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