Aviation

Boeing agrees to compensate families of Ethiopian Airlines crash victims

Boeing has agreed to compensate the families of the 157 victims who were killed in the Ethiopian Airlines 737 Max flight crash in March 2019, Reuters reported.

According to a filing in U.S. District Court in Chicago, the company accepted liability for the crash and has agreed to compensate victims "fully and fairly" for their losses.

In its settlement, Boeing blamed the crash on software that resulted in loss of control and admitted that the 737 Max was in "unsafe condition" to fly.

While the settlement does not specify monetary compensation to the families, it will allow the families of the victims to pursue individual claims in U.S. courts instead of their home country, Reuters adds.

The deal also means that Boeing will not face claims for punitive damages. 

In a statement to The Hill, Boeing said that by "accepting responsibility, Boeing's agreement with the families allows the parties to focus their efforts on determining the appropriate compensation for each family."

"We extend our deepest condolences to the families of those lost on Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302. Since the accidents, Boeing has made significant changes as a company, and to the design of the 737 MAX, to ensure that accidents like those never happen again," the statement added.

"This is a significant milestone for the families in their pursuit of justice against Boeing, as it will ensure they are all treated equitably and eligible to recover full damages under Illinois law, while creating a pathway for them to proceed to a final resolution, whether through settlements or trial," the lawyers for the victims said in a statement, according to The Seattle Times

The Ethiopian Airlines flight took off from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, headed to Nairobi, Kenya, on March 10, 2019, and crashed shortly after takeoff. All 149 passengers and eight crew members were killed. 

This crash took place just months after another 737 Max flight went down in the Java Sea shortly after leaving the Indonesian capital of Jakarta. All 189 people on board that flight were also killed.

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