A filing in U.S. District Court in Chicago shows, Boeing Co has agreed to acknowledge liabilities for compensatory damages in lawsuits filed by families of the 157 people killed in the 2019 Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX crash.
Following an agreement between Boeing and the families, lawyers for the victims will not seek punitive damages and Boeing will not challenge the lawsuits being filed in Illinois.
“Boeing is committed to ensuring that all families who lost loved ones in the accidents are fully and fairly compensated for their loss,” said Boeing 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.”
In a statement lawyers for the victims said, as part of the deal, Boeing has 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,” said the victim’s lawyers.
They went on to add, the compensation “will serve to hold Boeing fully accountable for the deaths of the 157 people who perished.”
A judge is scheduled to rule on the agreement next Tuesday.
U.S. consumer activist Ralph Nader criticized the agreement saying, “it will prevent lawyers from questioning current and former Boeing senior executives and pursuing the punitive damage claims”.
Nader’s niece was among the 157 victims who died in the plane crash.
The agreement also sees the victims’ families agreeing to dismiss claims against Rosemount Aerospace, a company that made sensors for Boeing’s 737 MAX, and Raytheon Technologies Corp’s Rockwell Collins, the parent of Rosemount and a key supplier for the MAX.