KUALA LUMPUR: Two Malaysian boys whose father was a passenger on the jetliner that vanished in March last year secured an out-of-court settlement in the tragedy's first legal case against Malaysia Airlines and the government.
Lawyer Arunan Selvaraj said today the mother of the boys decided to accept compensation on their behalf so that they can "move forward with their life." Arunan declined to reveal the amount.
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 was en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board when it disappeared March 8 last year. Authorities believe it crashed in a remote part of the southern Indian Ocean but no trace of the plane has been found. A search is still ongoing.
Other relatives of Flight 370 passengers were waiting for the outcome of the first case. Arunan said he did not know if there would be more law suits.
Malaysia Airlines has begun the process of paying compensation after the Malaysian government declared the jet's disappearance an accident at the end of January.
Arunan declined to say whether the compensation was more than the family's entitlement under the Montreal Convention, which governs liabilities from airline disasters. Government and airline lawyers declined to comment.
The boys' suit was filed in October last year, accusing the airline, the civil aviation department, the directors-general of civil aviation and immigration, and the country's air force chief for alleged gross neglect and breach of duty.
They sought damages for mental distress, emotional pain and the loss of support following the disappearance of their father, Jee Jing Hang. He operated an Internet business earning monthly income of nearly 17,000 ringgit (USD 4,600), according to the suit.