U.S. judge dismisses litigation over missing Malaysia Airlines flight

By Jonathan Stempel (Reuters) - A U.S.

Reuters November 24, 2018 01:05:40 IST
U.S. judge dismisses litigation over missing Malaysia Airlines flight

US judge dismisses litigation over missing Malaysia Airlines flight

By Jonathan Stempel

(Reuters) - A U.S. judge has dismissed nationwide litigation over the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in which victims' families sought to hold the carrier, its insurer Allianz SE and Boeing Co liable for the still-unexplained disaster.

U.S. District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson in Washington ruled on Wednesday night that the wrongful death and product liability litigation, encompassing 40 lawsuits, did not belong in the United States.

She said the case belonged in Malaysia, which has an "overwhelming interest" in and "substantial nexus" to the March 8, 2014 disappearance of Flight MH370, a Boeing 777 heading to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur with 239 people on board.

"At its core, this case is about the unexplained disappearance of a passenger plane operated by Malaysia Airlines as part of its national air carrier fleet following its departure from a Malaysian airport," Jackson wrote.

"Litigation in the United States related to the Flight MH370 disaster is inconvenient," she added.

The 61-page decision is a setback for plaintiffs from the United States, Australia, China, India and Malaysia who represented more than 100 Flight MH370 passengers, including from Japan.

The plane is believed to have crashed in the south Indian Ocean after veering far off course, but no remains or large pieces of wreckage have been found.

Flight MH370's disappearance remains one of the world's greatest aviation mysteries.

A 495-page report from Malaysian investigators in July offered no clear answers about what happened.

The plaintiffs sued under the Montreal Convention, an international treaty governing air transportation incidents, and various U.S. state laws.

Mary Schiavo, a lawyer for some of the plaintiffs, said in an email on Friday her clients were preparing for a June 2019 trial in Kuala Lumpur over the plane.

Malaysia Airlines, Boeing, their respective lawyers, and lawyers for other plaintiffs did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The carrier was insured by Allianz's Global Corporate & Specialty SE unit, according to Wednesday's decision. Hugo Kidston, a spokesman for the unit, declined to comment.

The case is In re: Air Crash Over the Southern Indian Ocean, on March 8, 2014, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia, No. 16-mc-01184.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.