Families of victims of the two 737 Max 8 crashes that killed 346 people in Indonesia in 2018 and Ethiopia in 2019 began to receive the USD 500 million settlement from Boeing, a statement The Reporter obtained indicates.
The fund will be administered to the heirs, relatives and beneficiaries of the passengers who died in the two accidents.
The statement from Ribbeck Law Chartered, which represents more than 90 clients, noted the litigation process made in the last three years to secure the money.
“For most of our clients, this puts an end to the civil and criminal cases filed against Boeing after the tragic crashes of Lion Air JT610 on October 29, 2018 and Ethiopian Airlines ET302 on March 10, 2019,” stated Manuel von Ribbeck of Ribbeck Law Chartered.
It can be recalled that the Ethiopian Airlines jet headed for Nairobi, Kenya crashed shortly after take-off from Addis Ababa’s Bole International Airport, killing all 149 onboard including 9 Ethiopians, 32 Kenyans, 18 Canadians, eight Italians, 8 Chinese, 8 Americans, seven Britons and French citizens each, six Egyptians, five Germans, four Indians and four people from Slovakia.
“Families we have represented since the beginning of this tragedy involving the 737 MAX 8 crashes have started to receive the settlement funds,” said Ribbeck, adding, “The criminal case which found that serious, deadly mistakes were made by the Boeing Company has been brought to an end.”
The compensation fund is part of a much larger settlement agreed upon between Boeing and the Justice Department in January, 2021. Prosecutors charged the plane maker Boeing with fraud relating to the certification of the 737 MAX.
Accordingly, Boeing is expected to pay more than USD 2.5 billion in total. USD 243.6 million will be paid as a criminal penalty while USD 1.7 billion will be paid to compensate airlines that bought the 737 Max. Families of crash victims were to be paid USD 500 million and that is the payment they have started to receive now.
Henock Sirak, public relations and corporate communications manager of Ethiopian Airlines, stated that efforts to settle the compensation for the airliner are still ongoing and the matter is still pending.