Law firm denies telling MAS to stop caregiving services

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 21 May 2014

KUALA LUMPUR: Ribbeck Law Chartered, the Chicago-based law firm representing the families of seven crew members aboard flight MH370, has denied Malaysia Airline's claim that the firm had demanded the airline to only communicate with the next-of-kin's lawyers.

This comes after the families told reporters that MAS had stopped caregiving services and severed all communication with them since May 8, after learning family members had acquired the services of a lawyer.

"At no time did Ribbeck Law Chartered contact Malaysia Airlines to stop providing information regarding the search for the missing MH370 plane or to stop providing any other kind of assistance to our clients," said Ribeck Law Chartered attorney Monica R. Kelly in a statement on Wednesday.

The families said they had approached the law firm to be their legal adviser in documents related to MH370, claiming they had been asked to sign papers with legal terms they did not understand.

MAS had sent the families an email last week asking them to direct all their queries on the search and other matters into MH370 to the airline's legal team via their own lawyers.

MAS backbit in turn, claiming they were still in "constant contact" with the families of the crew via "recently set up Family Support Centres (FSC)".

"These foreign lawyers have directed that MAS cease from any further direct communication with their clients, and that MAS direct all further communications regarding these families to them," it said in a statement.

Flight MH370, with 239 people on board including 12 crew members, left the KL International Airport at 12.41am on March 8 and disappeared from radar screens about an hour later while over the South China Sea.

A multinational search was mounted for the Boeing 777-200 aircraft, first in the South China Sea and then, after it was learnt that the plane had veered off course, in the southern Indian Ocean.

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