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The families of asylum seekers who died in a boat crash off Christmas Island in 2010 have lost a lawsuit against the federal government.

At least 50 people drowned when their boat crashed into cliffs off the island after bad weather and high seas made tracking the vessel “nigh on impossible”. The suit, which was launched in June 2014, alleged the government breached its duty of care in not rescuing their loved ones. The New South Wales Supreme Court ruled that the government had no control over the vessel, the weather or the asylum seekers’ decision to travel to Australia.

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