Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 left Kuala Lumpur on March 8, 2014 heading to Beijing. After an exhaustive search, the Malaysian government announced on March 24, 2014 that the flight ended in the southern Indian Ocean with no hope of survivors.
Chicago based law firm, Ribbeck Law Chartered, announced March 25 that they filed a petition of discovery in Illinois requesting a court to order defendants to provide potential evidence and other information on behalf of Januari Siregar, whose nephew was a passenger on the plane. This filing names Malaysia Airlines and Boeing as two Defendants. It seeks documents that pertain to possible design or mechanical defects or conduct by the airline that may have led to the incident.
Under the Montreal Convention of 1999, families of those on board could be awarded up to $175,000, perhaps more. This treaty requires carriers to pay damages for each passenger killed or injured in an accident regardless of cause. Unless an airline can prove that fault lies with another party such as a manufacturer, in this case Boeing, or that the incident was an act of terrorism, then the airline company could be liable for larger damages.
The majority of those aboard Flight 370 were Chinese citizens however greater damages will likely be awarded in U.S. courts.