SINGAPORE: One of the world’s leading aviation lawyers has filed a lawsuit on behalf of families of passengers aboard Indonesia AirAsia Flight QZ8501 that crashed into the Java Sea in December last year.
On Dec 28, 2014, the Airbus A320 was travelling from Surabaya, Indonesia to Singapore when it crashed in bad weather, killing all 155 passengers and seven crew members on board.
However, the preliminarily investigations found that while weather was a factor, the aircraft suffered a malfunction of the fly-by-wire system.
The principal of Chicago-based Wisner Law Firm, Floyd Wisner who has been involved in every major air disaster for the past two decades, including many Airbus incidents, said problems with Airbus had spanned many years.
“Airbus and its supplier manufacturers are aware of the problems that cause the fly-by-wire protection to malfunction, yet they appear to have done nothing about it, despite many incidents,” he said in a statement here.
Wisner also slammed AirAsia for offering families only half the amount of compensation being paid to families of other recent air disasters, and said the airline would be made a party to the US litigation.
“AirAsia is not handling the claims of its passengers pursuant to international standards, but is treating its passengers differently to those on MH370, MH17 and Germanwings.
“Despite the promises of AirAsia’s owner, (group chief executive officer Tan Sri) Tony Fernandes, that the victims’ families would be treated fairly, AirAsia is proving that it is a low-fare, low-compensation airline.”
Wisner said the lawsuit represented 10 families so far, but he expects many others to join the case.
“There are still many families in Indonesia and a few other countries that have spoken to us, and we are willing to talk to any other families that want to join the legal case,” he said.
The lawsuit, filed in the US state of Illinois, states that “at the time the accident aircraft left the control of defendant Airbus, it was defectively and unreasonably dangerous,” and names Honeywell International, Motorola Inc and other suppliers along with Airbus as defendants. --Bernama