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MH370 SEARCH: Families collect evidence
Publication Date : 24-04-2014
The committee representing family members of Chinese passengers aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 has been gathering evidence against the parties involved for possible lawsuits in the future, a committee spokesman said on Wednesday.
The spokesman, Cheng Dongwei, said the committee's evidence-gathering anticipates possible lawsuits and aims to uncover wrongdoing as well as push rescue work.
As the MH370 flight has been missing for 46 days, families can now file lawsuits in courts in the United States against US aircraft manufacturer Boeing, a CNN report said on Wednesday.
US law requires that attorneys must wait at least 45 days to contact a family that has lost a loved one in a plane crash, according to the report.
At least one law firm has already taken the initial steps toward a lawsuit. According to CNN, aviation attorney Monica Kelly said she filed a request for documents and other information in an Illinois court last month to start building a case against Malaysia Airlines and Boeing. She said she represents Januari Siregar, whose son was aboard MH370. Januari Siregar is an Indonesian.
Cheng, of the family committee, said the Chinese families insist that search and rescue is the first priority, and no one will file a lawsuit unless solid evidence of wrongdoing is presented.
Currently, no law firm has contacted the committee, Cheng said.
"The family-member committee helps with relatives' common demands and will not intervene in lawsuit issues," he added.
The committee was set up to collect questions and appeals from family members and to serve as a platform from which to release news.
The committee said on its Sina Weibo micro blog on April 18 that although the family members are seeking consultation on many aspects of the tragedy, no one has signed a contract with any law firm or team of lawyers.
"Currently, we will not consider this unless it would help us find the truth," said Wang Guanyi, another representative of the committee.
Wednesday's planned air searches have been suspended because of poor weather in the search area, Australia's Joint Agency Coordination Center said.
Three aircraft that had already departed for the search area before the suspension took effect have been recalled, a JACC statement said.