By Natalie Williams •
Published: 11 Nov 2021 • 0:02
Image :Getty images
Boeing agrees deal with families of Ethiopia 737 Max crash victims. 157 people died in the Ethiopia 737 Max crash in 2019.
The company, Boeing, accepts full liability for the deaths of the passengers of the fatal Ethiopian Airline flight, according to court documents in Chicago. In return, the families of the victims will not seek penal damages from the company.
Lawyers for the victims’ families said Boeing would still be held “fully accountable”, welcoming the agreement as a significant milestone.
The agreement opens the way for families outside the US, in countries such as Ethiopia and Kenya, to claim compensation through the US courts, rather than in their home countries, which might be more difficult and result in lower payments.
Mark Pegram in the UK, whose son Sam was one of the victims, said: “The main positive for us is that Boeing is admitting liability, and putting the blame onto Ethiopian Airlines or the pilots… we wanted them to hold their hands up.”
Sam’s mother Debbie told the BBC: “All we are looking to do with any compensation is set up a charity in Sam’s name. It’s what we want to do and it’s what Sam would have wanted us to do.”
At the time of the crash, the 737 Max was Boeing’s best-selling plane. The planes were grounded for 20 months, while investigations took place, but have since been allowed to return to operations after the firm made significant changes to their software and training.
The agreement was reached in Chicago, Illinois, where Boeing is headquartered While it does not pledge any specific level of compensation for the families of the victims of the Ethiopia max 737 crash, the agreement will limit the scale and scope of any further procedures.
“Boeing is committed to ensuring that all families who lost loved ones in the accidents are fully and fairly compensated for their loss,” the company said in a statement.
“By accepting responsibility, Boeing’s agreement with the families allows the parties to focus their efforts on determining the appropriate compensation for each family.”
Lawyers for the victims released a statement saying that under the agreement, Boeing admitted “that the 737 Max had an unsafe condition, and that it will not attempt to blame anyone else” for the crash.
“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 said.
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