Malaysian Crew Family Member Seeks Illinois Court’s Help to Prep Lawsuit

March 30, 2014

The husband of a crew member of missing Malaysian Air Flight 370 asked a state court in Illinois to order Boeing Co. and the airline to turn over data and documents to assist in preparation for a possible lawsuit, the second such petition by the same Chicago law firm.

The petition was filed Friday in Chicago on behalf of Lee Khim Fatt, whose wife, Foong Wai Yueng, was a member of the cabin crew on the plane that vanished March 8 after taking off from Kuala Lumpur bound for Beijing.

Teams from the U.S., Australia, New Zealand and China have joined in the search for the plane. The Malaysian government said it believes the aircraft fell into the Indian Ocean, west of Australia, killing all aboard. The hunt yesterday shifted for the third time to focus on an area hundreds of miles from the previous zone and continued today.

The filing yesterday was the second request in court that Chicago-based Boeing, which built the lost 777-200ER jet, and Malaysian Airline Systems Bhd. produce information about the plane’s ownership, maintenance history, flight crew training and 23 other categories of data.

“Through the initial discovery process in the courts, we will obtain for the families of the victims all the facts and information necessary to prove fault,” attorney Monica R. Kelly said in a press statement announcing the filing.

Her law firm, Chicago-based Ribbeck Law Chartered, filed an almost identical petition March 25 for a man it initially identified as the father of one of the flight’s passengers, Firman Chandra Siregar. Petitioner Januari Siregar later said he was the missing man’s uncle.

Chaz Bickers, a Boeing spokesman, declined to comment on the data and document request. An e-mail to the press office of Malaysian Air seeking comment on the court filings wasn’t answered yesterday.

The case is Fatt v. Boeing Co., 2014-L-03535, Cook County, Illinois, Circuit Court, Law Division (Chicago).