Queensland families sue over MH370

The families of four Queenslanders who were aboard missing flight MH370 are suing its operator for hundreds of thousands of dollars, claiming the airline “failed to prevent the flight from being operated in a manner that caused it to crash”.


Rodney and Mary Burrows were holidaying with their long-time friends Bob and Cathy Lawton when they boarded the ill-fated Malaysia Airlines flight in Kuala Lumpur, bound for Beijing, in March 2014.

They were among 239 people who perished when the Boeing 777 disappeared.

Documents filed in twin Federal Court cases by relatives and executors of the estates of the Burrows and the Lawtons state that the families are seeking the combined equivalent of nearly $A420,000 from Malaysian Airline System Berhad (MASB), along with “further damages”, interest and costs.

MASB was placed into administration in 2015.

Statements of claim filed in each case allege that the children of the two couples have “suffered varying degrees of nervous shock and consequential economic loss”.

“The respondent is liable for damages sustained by the applicants by reason of the accident which caused deaths of the passengers,” both statements of claim say.

“The passengers’ family’s injuries were caused by the breach of duty of care of the respondent.”

The families have alleged that MASB “failed to take any or any adequate precautions for the safety of the passengers”, “failed to prevent the flight from being operated in a manner that caused it to crash”, and “failed to provide any or any sufficient rescue apparatus for the use of passengers to preserve life”.

The two cases are expected to return to the Federal Court in Sydney in August.