KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, March 31 (UPI) — A court in Malaysia on Wednesday rejected a bid by Malaysia Airlines to throw out a lawsuit filed by the relatives of three people who went missing on Flight 370.
The court’s decision could open the way for more relatives to sue the airline. More than 50 lawsuits have been filed in Malaysia over the plane’s disappearance. Other suits have been filed in the United States, Australia and China.
MH370 disappeared March 8, 2014, after leaving Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia en route to Beijing with 227 passengers and 12 crew members on board. The pilots last communicated with air traffic control 38 minutes after takeoff. The plane disappeared from air traffic controllers’ radar screens several minutes later.
After Flight 370 and Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 — shot down while flying above Ukraine four months after Flight 370 disappeared — Malaysia Airlines Systems restructured its financial assets and operations, transforming itself into Malaysia Airlines Berhad, which argued it has no liability to relatives because the firm was set up months after the plane disappeared.
The court ruled that Malaysia Airlines Berhad’s liability would be determined in a trial.
Malaysian authorities concluded the flight ended in the Indian Ocean, but no confirmed Flight 370 debris was found until last year when a right wing flaperon was discovered on Reunion Island, east of Madagascar.
Australian officials on Wednesday confirmed debris recovered from Mozambique in February matched that of a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 aircraft, further corroborating it could have come from Flight 370.