Missing MH370: No Trace Even After 45 Days, Families May Take Legal Action Against Airline Authorities

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By Sounak Mukhopadhyay | April 23, 2014 4:40 PM EST

Death certificates will be issued to the passengers of the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370.

The families were also offered financial compensation by the Malaysian government. The move of the authorities may now help the families of those passengers to file charges to the airline company. The hunt for the missing flight has crossed 45 days, which means the families would now be allowed to take legal action against the airline company.

REUTERS/U.S. Navy photo by Mas
Crew aboard the Australian Defence Vessel Ocean Shield move the U.S. Navy's Bluefin-21 autonomous underwater vehicle into position for deployment in the southern Indian Ocean to look for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, April 14, 2014 in this handout picture released by the U.S. Navy.

CNN reported the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) enforced a 45-day rule, which prevented U.S. lawyers from approaching the family of someone who dies in a plane crash until 45 days pass after the accident. Now that period is over, families can file suit against U.S. aircraft manufacturer Boeing Co.

On the flip side, a significant obstacle to taking legal action against the airline company was that no wreckage of the apparently crashed plane was found yet. That made the case similar to filing a murder case when the corpse has not been found yet.

While families have long been complaining against airline authorities for not providing enough information, some of them felt a legal action can open up more possibilities to know the truth.

CNN quoted Hamid Ramlan, a father of one of the passengers, saying his family "cannot accept" the claim that the flight crashed and his daughter and son-in-law had actually got killed.

He added his wife still believed the plane might have been hijacked. High hopes that her daughter may still be alive have not died in her heart, he noted.

Australia's Joint Agency Coordination Centre, meanwhile, said "no contact of interest" was found even after the Bluefin-21, the underwater drone, scanned the ocean floor for the 10th time. Around two-third of the projected territory has already been searched with no positive results so far.

Layyers have already approached families for compensation lawsuits. But they do not seem much interested at the moment in taking legal action for financial benefits. Some argued the 45-day rule may not apply to plane crashes which take place outside the U.S. as the NTSB has no jurisdiction there.

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(Photo: REUTERS/U.S. Navy photo by Mas / )
Crew aboard the Australian Defence Vessel Ocean Shield move the U.S. Navy's Bluefin-21 autonomous underwater vehicle into position for deployment in the southern Indian Ocean to look for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, April 14, 2014 in this handout picture released by the U.S. Navy.
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