Monica Kelly, an attorney at Ribbeck Law in Chicago, asked an Illinois state judge on Tuesday to order Malaysia Airlines and Boeing, the manufacturer of the missing 777 airplane to provide an extensive list of information.
The firm is seeking the names of people familiar with the airline’s batteries, details on the fire and oxygen systems and records related to the fuselage. The petition also inquired about the airline’s crew training and screening, security practices and emergency procedures.
Dan Rose, an aviation attorney with New-York-based Kreindler & Kreindler who has pursued damages from airlines, including the 1988 Pan Am explosion over Lockerbie Scotland, told the cable news network CNN the firm was acting prematurely.
“This kind of petition does a disservice to those Americans that have a potential for claims in the U.S.” and for all Flight 370 victims, he said.
Kelly dismissed the criticism.
“I would tell that that it’s not too early to start the process because we do not want evidence to disappear,” she told CNNMoney on Wednesday.
Ribbeck Law’s client, Januari Siregar, is the father of a Flight 370 passenger. Kelly said she has met with additional families and expects to expand her client roster in the next several months.
International law dictates where suits against an airline may be brought. The families of victims are allowed to pursue legal action in countries including where tickets were purchased and where the airline is based. Suits can also be filed in the passenger’s final destination.
That means most suits against Malaysia Airlines would be filed in China or Malaysia.
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