Missing Flight 370 and Malaysia Airlines are fading from the news headlines, and Malaysia Airlines is most likely happy about that... “The total cost of the search for Flight MH370 to all of the nations involved since the aircraft went missing on March 8 is likely to run into the hundreds of billions of dollars.” For now, the cost in the search for the missing plane is being carried by those nations involved. If the missing aircraft was found, all of that could change.
...“Under International Civil Aviation Organisation rules, next-of-kin in a plane crash are entitled to an automatic minimum of about US$175,000 per passenger, regardless of fault, payable by an airline's insurance company,” writes the South China Morning Post on May 14. In addition to the $175,000, family members can also file a civil lawsuit for even greater damages. “Damages are typically based on the lost lifetime earnings of a victim and thus could total in the hundreds of millions for all passengers combined. A US law firm is already planning a ‘multimillion-dollar’ lawsuit against Malaysia Airlines and aircraft maker Boeing, on behalf of an Indonesian passenger's family.”
Jeremy Joseph, a Malaysian lawyer who specializes in cases like this is saying that “on the surface, [Malaysia Airlines] is responsible," and that the “burden of proof" rested with the carrier to clear its name. However, as long as the missing flight is not found and there is no clear evidence that Malaysia Airlines was responsible, the company can try to settle with the relatives of the family members out of court. Those settlements are most likely much less than what family members would receive if the aircraft was found and the airline or the government could be held responsible. Malaysia Airlines is already struggling financially and finding MH 370 might mean the end of the airline.