The Jakarta Post, Jakarta
The families of 30 passengers from the Adam Air jetliner that went missing off Sulawesi on Jan. 1 plan to sue U.S. aircraft manufacturer Boeing over the accident, a lawyer said Tuesday.
""Based on our experience (in litigating previous flight accidents), we assume that the accident involving the Boeing 737-400 aircraft operated by Adam Air was not caused by either human error or bad weather,"" lawyer Haroen Calehr told Antara news agency.
Haroen, an Indonesian citizen working in Houston in the U.S. state of Texas, held a press conference in Surabaya along with one of the plaintiffs, Christian, and the secretary of the Adam Air KI-574 Passengers' Families Association, Antonyus Idris.
""We assume that the engine from the Adam Air aircraft was not flight-worthy,"" Haroen said.
Haroen, who graduated from Tulane University and the University of Texas, said that they would not sue the management of Adam Air.
The lawyer added that the benefit of suing Boeing was that it would make the company investigate the cause of the accident, allowing the manufacturer to prevent future crashes.
Haroen said the cause of the accident could be found because U.S. law will allow them to subpoena important documents on the condition of the aircraft.
""We will use the U.S. law on negligence and the law on feasibility to build the case against Boeing. The law on feasibility centers on the producer's responsibility to guarantee the good quality of its products. It will take one to four years if we want to challenge the company through this law,"" he added.
The other benefit of suing Boeing, Haroen said, is that the amount of compensation will be based on the magnitude of Boeing's error. ""That's a bonus for the families of the victims,"" he said.
Christian said half of the victims' families said they would sue Boeing instead of the budget airline.
""We are not only looking for compensation money, but we also want to know the cause of the accident so the local airline industry can further guarantee the safety of passengers,"" he said.