The first lawsuit over missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 was filed – and dismissed – in an Illinois court.
Circuit Court Judge Kathy Flanagan, who hears all aviation cases filed in Cook County, called the filing “improper” and she threatened to impose sanctions against the Chicago-based law firm that filed the action, according to the Chicago Tribune.
“The petition named Malaysia Airlines and Chicago-based Boeing as defendants and sought to preserve evidence in the case and to identify anyone involved in the plane’s manufacture and upkeep,” the report said.
Judge Flanagan’s ruling said such filings, made under Illinois Supreme Court Rule 224, were only allowed when the identity of potential defendants is not known. The petition, however, names Malaysia Airlines and Chicago-based Boeing as defendants.
“Once there is sufficient information to identify at least one potential defendant, then the correct procedure is to file an action at law for damages,” Judge Flanagan wrote.
She said Ribbeck Law Chartered filed at least two similar previous actions, and she dismissed them for the exact same reason.
Judge Flanagan said if the firm continues to file such actions, she will impose sanctions.
Critics called the filing a publicity stunt.