$500M compensation fund opens for Boeing 737 Max victims' families: report

$500M compensation fund opens for Boeing 737 Max victims' families: report
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A compensation fund has opened for the families of the 346 people killed in two fatal Boeing 737 Max crashes.

Reuters reported that the U.S. victim compensation fund is part of the January settlement between the Department of Justice and Boeing. The company was ordered to pay more than $2.5 billion in fines, including $500 million to people who lost relatives in the Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashes in 2018 and 2019, respectively.

Nearly $1.45 million will go to every eligible family, Reuters reported, citing a statement from the claim’s administrators, Ken Feinberg and Camile Biros.

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The funds will be distributed on a rolling basis as claim forms are submitted and completed, the administrators told the wire service. The deadline to submit claim forms is Oct. 15.

The settlement was included in the Justice Department's announcement that it was filing a criminal charge against Boeing for “conspiracy to defraud the United States” over allegations that the company concealed information from investigators that were looking into the 737 Max crashes.

In addition to the $500 million for victims compensation, the $2.5 billion fine consisted of a $243.6 million criminal penalty and $1.77 billion for global airlines affected by subsequent groundings of the aircrafts.

“Boeing’s employees chose the path of profit over candor by concealing material information from the FAA concerning the operation of its 737 Max airplane and engaging in an effort to cover up their deception,” acting Assistant Attorney General David Burns wrote in the Justice Department's announcement of the criminal charge and settlement earlier this year.

Boeing was able to avoid criminal prosecution with the settlement, though civil litigation against the company by the victims' families has continued.

In 2019, Boeing tapped Feinberg and Biros to supervise the allocation of a separate $50 million for the families of those killed in the crashes, according to Reuters.

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The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in November cleared the Boeing 737 Max to return to service, nearly two years after the pair of crashes that caused the planes to be grounded.

A new version of the Boeing 737 Max is now working to get into the air. The Max 10, which is slightly larger than the Max jets current in use, completed its first successful test flight last week.

Boeing expects to begin delivering the new aircraft in 2023, according to The Associated Press.

The top two Democrats on the House Transportation Committee in May released a statement requesting records from the FAA and Boeing amid reports of electrical problems and foreign objects in debris of newly manufactured aircrafts and other quality control issues with the Boeing 737 Max and 787 Dreamliner jets.