The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has given rise to new legal concerns. Due to a lack of evidence, because the flight was never officially found, Malaysia Airlines is likely to have to settle out of court to pay money to the families who lost loved ones during the disappearance of the plane.
According to experts in the aviation field, it has been nearly two months now since the Malaysia Airlines flight went missing. Since then, they have found no wreckage. With no wreckage and no black box to say what went wrong on the flight, the only one that can be held responsible for this is the airline itself.
Other airline crashes have happened in the past without the need for the airline to pay money to the family of the victims. However, this time, no black box is there to say if what caused the crash was due to the plane, the pilot or some other unavoidable situation.
There is no official word if Malaysia Airlines will settle out of court with the more than 239 people who are suing the airline for money. Aviation law experts say that these people may have a case because, under aviation international law, the airline has to prove that it was not the cause of the accident. Without the plane’s black box, which records all flight information, there is no way for the airline to do that.
The attorney for Malaysia Airlines, Jeremy Joseph, said that it appears that Malaysia Airlines is the one responsible on the surface. This is due to international law that places the blame on the airline until otherwise proven. It is not like normal court when people are innocent until proven guilty.
The rules put in place by the International Civil Aviation Organization state that, in the event of a crash, the families who lose loved ones in flight accidents are entitled to a minimum of $175,000 per passenger lost to them. This money is paid regardless of fault. Luckily for Malaysia Airlines, the money is paid out by the insurance company of the airline.
The biggest problem for Malaysia Airlines might be the fact that it is also vulnerable right now to other civil lawsuits. These lawsuits might do greater damage because it will have to pay out money to hundreds of relatives. It is likely that a lot of these families will be going after Malaysia Airlines because they are already upset over the little information that they received about the crash.
A professor of aviation law at the National University of Singapore, Alan Tan, said that there is no cause identified for the crash. Thus, it is very hard to see how Malaysia Airlines can get out of this. It has not been able to prove the absence of fault in this case.