Families of Boeing 737 MAX crash victims file new claim against FAA
Relatives of victims of a deadly Boeing 737 MAX crash announced a lawsuit against Boeing and a notice of claim Monday against the Federal Aviation Administration. They joined lawyers with the firm Friedman Rubin in Seattle, alleging the FAA and Boeing conspired in the certification of the 737 MAX, lead to two crashes that killed 346 people in Indonesia and Ethiopia.
The legal action was filed on behalf of victims’ families in the Ethiopian Airline crash in March, the second involving the 737 MAX.
“We have alleged a conspiracy against the FAA and Boeing that they worked together,” said attorney Alisa Brodkowitz. “It’s a civil conspiracy for two entities to work together to certify an aircraft that is not safe for the public.”
According to the lawsuit, Boeing and the FAA overlooked key safety features and design flaws and failed to train pilots. She said the FAA “dropped the ball twice” for improperly certifying the aircraft and for not grounding the plane after the first crash of a MAX plane flown by Lion Air in October 2018.
“We all hear this is a software problem,” said Brodkowitz. “Maybe there is a software problem with in it, but it’s also a systems failure.”
A brother of one of the victims in the Ethiopian Airlines crash spoke through tears Monday, demanding justice for his brother’s death. Zakariyas Shenkut said a “chain of events that were overlooked” led to the deadly crash. His brother, Ato Mulugeta Asfaw, left behind a wife and three children.
“These kids – they need answers with a genuine gesture,” said Shenkut. “They’re not going to see their dad. He’s gone. There has to be a serious recognition of that.”
The FAA did not respond to the legal claim against it. The agency has six months to respond to the claim before the law firm officially files a lawsuit. Meanwhile, the 737 MAX remains grounded as Boeing continues to work on updates for the aircraft. The plane is not expected to return to service until November at the earliest.