Flight QF32 Class Action

What was the QF32 class action about?

In 2010, a Qantas A380 one hour out of Singapore had one of its Rolls Royce Trent engines disintegrate. The plane returned to Singapore with the passengers observing the damage to the engine, wing and other parts of the plane. The seriousness of the damage, risk of crashing and imminent death was clear to all on board. The pilots exercised great skill in landing the aircraft. 

Once on the ground, the damaged engine continued to spark and the aircraft was in a lake of escaping aviation fuel. The passengers were held on board for another hour before disembarking. As a result of this near-death experience, many passengers and crew suffered serious psychiatric injury.

LHD Lawyers commenced a class action under the direction of Michael Hyland and his team in the NSW Supreme Court. The allegation of liability was against Rolls Royce for negligent design, construction and installation of the engine. The negligence occurred in the United Kingdom, which meant the law of England and Wales had to be applied on questions of liability and quantum. The defendant ultimately admitted breach of duty and we set about assessing each claim according to English law.

Who were the group members?

Group members for the QF32 flight class action consisted of crew staff and passengers onboard the plane. The basis for the class action was psychological injury, loss of future income and compensation for medical treatment costs. 

What was the QF32 class action outcome?

Following complex litigation, settlement was reached in respect to the Federal Court MH17 class action. 

The settlement was subject to the approval of the Federal Court. The settlement was approved by Judge Perram on 26 June 2019.

To the best of our knowledge, resolution of the class action completes all claims against Malaysia Airlines in Australia for compensatory damages arising from the deaths of MH17 passengers.

However, the Dutch led Joint Investigation Team (“JIT”) criminal investigation into the shooting down of MH17 is ongoing.

On 19 June 2019 the JIT publicly identified four alleged perpetrators in respect to the downing of MH17. The four persons have been charged and international arrest warrants have been issued. The trial of the alleged perpetrators will commence in the Hague in March 2020. If necessary, the trial will proceed in the absence of the alleged perpetrators.

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