More than 400 MH370, MH17 compensation claims settled

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April 17, 2019
Mh17 Russia anniversary
Wreckage from MH17. Photo: Joint Investigation Team

The compensation claims of 428 families of victims of the Malaysia Airlines MH17 and MH370 disasters have been settled but 125 families are still battling over the final amount.

The figures were contained in a parliamentary reply from Malaysian Transport Minister Anthony Loke and reported by The Malaysian Reserve business daily.

READ: Famous wreck hunter David Mearns supports levy to find MH370.

The biggest split is over the controversial disappearance of MH370, where 130 families have signed off and compensation but 109 have only received a partial sum and are still negotiating over the final figure.

The Boeing 777 disappeared in mysterious circumstances on March 14, 2014, and has not been found despite to extensive searches of potential crash sites in the Southern Indian Ocean.

Dozens of theories, some of them bizarre, have been put forward about what happened but many industry observers believed it was a murder-suicide with Captain Zaharie Ahmed Shah most likely responsible.

MH 17, also a B777, was shot down over eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014, by a Russian-made missile believed to have been launched by Russian separatists.

Of the 298 families involved in that tragedy, 282 have settled their claims and only 16 remain outstanding.

The business daily said it was unclear from the letter who had made the payments but noted Loke said the compensation payments had been assessed under the 1999 Montreal Convention and varied according to circumstances.

Families were offered interim payments of $US50,000 in 2014 and the paper said some accepted these payments, believed to have been paid by the insurance consortium led by Allianz.

Litigation still underway over the crashes include a recently reported move by the US family of an 18-year-old victim to sue US-based money transfer companies and two Russian banks that allegedly provided services to the pro-Russian separatists blamed for downing MH17.

The Schansman family is suing Sberbank of Russia, VTB Bank, Western Union Co., Western Union Financial Services, MoneyGram International Inc and MoneyGram payments systems.

The suit says the companies’ provision of material support to the Donetsk’s People’s Republic was “a substantial factor” in its ability to launch a missile from the territory it controlled.

Families of more than 100 MH370 victims were unsuccessful in a US suit to hold Malaysia Airlines, insurer Allianz and Boeing liable for that crash.

A US District Court judge in November 2018 dismissed the litigation, saying the case belonged in Malaysia.