The families of six crew members on a Malaysian passenger jet shot down over Ukraine nearly two years ago have filed lawsuits against Malaysia Airlines for negligence and breach of contract.

Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was hit by a surface-to-air missile on July 17, 2014, at the height of fighting in the Ukraine conflict.

The lawyer for the families Thomas Philip says Malaysia Airlines was negligent for failing to conduct an adequate risk assessment and for charting a course which flew through a known conflict zone, posing an unreasonable risk to those on board.

He said Thursday that the families contend the airline was in breach of contract for failing to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the flight crew.