News World Boeing pledges $100 million to victims of fatal 737 plane crashes

Boeing pledges $100 million to victims of fatal 737 plane crashes

boeing max flying
Boeing has settled the first lawsuits from the families of victims related to two crashes involving its 737 MAX aircraft. Photo: Getty
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Boeing has announced a $100 million donation for the families and communities affected by two crashes of its 737 Max jetliner. 

The aviation giant grounded its entire global fleet of 737 Max aircraft in May after two fatal crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia resulted in 346 deaths.

Chief executive Dennis Muilenburg said he hoped the $100 million payment would “comfort” the victims’ families. 

Lawyers for the families who are suing Boeing have dismissed the move.

Boeing said the “initial investment” would be made over several years and help cover the daily living expenses of families whose loved ones died in the Lion Air crash in October, which killed 189 people, and the March Ethiopian Airlines crash, which killed 157.

“We at Boeing are sorry for the tragic loss of lives in both of these accidents and these lives lost will continue to weigh heavily on our hearts and on our minds for years to come,” Mr Muilenburg said in a statement.

“The families and loved ones of those on board have our deepest sympathies, and we hope this initial outreach can help bring them comfort.”

Boeing said the money will also go towards community programs and economic development in grieving communities.

Lawyer Nomi Husain, who has filed seven lawsuits on behalf of affected families, told the BBC that Boeing’s offering “doesn’t come anywhere close to compensating the families for what has been taken from them”.

“Some of our clients are not interested in financial compensation at this point,Mr Husain said.

He added that Boeing “put profit over safety to get their number-one selling plane to market” – a claim the plane-maker denies.

About 50 lawsuits had so far been filed by victims’ families, Mr Husain noted, with some families seeking damages of up to $276 million.

Lawyer Robert Clifford, who is representing families of those killed in the Ethiopian Airlines crash, told the Associated Press that  $100 million “is a very small number” that does not make up for the “totality of these losses”

“I wouldn’t even say it’s a good start,” he said.

Boeing did not specify exactly how much money families would receive or how it will be distributed among affected communities.

-with agencies

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