KUALA LUMPUR, June 30 ― A US-based aviation lawyer said today that they are representing 10 families in a lawsuit against AirAsia and Airbus over an aircraft malfunction following the crash of Flight QZ8501 last year.
Principal of Chicago-based Wisner Law Firm Floyd Wisner said although preliminary investigations found that weather was a factor, the Airbus A320-200 suffered a malfunction of the fly-by-wire system.
“Airbus and its supplier manufacturers are aware of problems that cause the fly-by-wire protection to malfunction, yet they appear to have done nothing about it, despite many incidents,” he said in a statement, adding that problems with Airbus have spanned “many years”.
The plane was travelling from Surabaya, Indonesia to Singapore when it crashed into the Java Sea during a storm on December 28, 2014, killing all 162 passengers and seven crew on board.
Wisner also slammed AirAsia for offering families only half the amount of compensation being paid to families of other recent air disasters.
“AirAsia is not handling the claims of its passengers pursuant to international standards, but is treating its passengers differently to those on MH370, MH17 and Germanwings.
“Despite the promises of AirAsia’s owner, Tony Fernandes, that the victims’ families would be treated fairly, AirAsia is proving that it is a low fare, low compensation airline,” he said.
Wisner said the lawsuit represents ten families so far but he expects many others to join the case.
According to the statement, the lawsuit, which was filed in the US state of Illinois, states that “at the time the accident aircraft left the control of defendant Airbus, it was defectively and unreasonably dangerous,” and names Honeywell International, Motorola Inc and other suppliers along with Airbus as defendants.
According to news reports, Indonesia will release the final report into the crash by August.