- More family members of the victims of the fatal Lion Air crash have decided to sue Boeing since its CEO issued an apology.
- CEO Dennis Muilenburg apologized for the Lion Air disaster that killed 157 people and the Ethiopian Airlines crash that killed 189, and said "these tragedies continue to weigh heavily on our hearts and minds."
- Families say that this apology helps their legal case, and have now joined dozens of families that were already suing the manufacturer.
- Muilenburg acknowledged that the preliminary reports into both crashes found the plane’s automated system had acted in error, and said that Boeing was working on a fix that means similar accidents will "never happen again."
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More family members of victims of the Lion Air disaster are coming forward to sue Boeing, saying that an apology from the company’s CEO for the two fatal plane crashes involving its 737 Max planes helps their legal case.
Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg last week issued an apology for the fatal Lion Air crash in October 2018, and th Ethiopian Airlines crash in March, which combined killed just under 350 people.
"We at Boeing are sorry for the lives lost in the recent 737 MAX accidents, he said.
"These tragedies continue to weigh heavily on our hearts and minds, and we extend our sympathies to the loved ones of the passengers and crew on board Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302."
But more family members of the Lion Air victims and their lawyers are now coming forward to take legal action against Boeing, saying that the apology helps their case, the Associated Press reported.
Antara Foto/Hadi Sutrisno via REUTERS
11 victims’ family members are now joining dozens of other families that are already suing Boeing, they announced at a press conference. It was arranged by Kailimang & Ponto, a Jakarta-based law firm representing the families.
Merdian Agustin, who lost her husband in the crash, said at the conference: "Boeing’s CEO explicitly apologized to 346 passenger families."
"We hope this is good momentum to have compensation rights," she said, the AP reported.
Agustin said at the press conference that her family and others refused to sign a document that would prevent them from sueing Lion Air and Boeing, and did not receive around $85,000 in compensation from Indonesia as a result.
"We refused to sign such a document containing statements that are treating our loved ones like lost baggage," she said. "It’s ridiculous and hurts us."
The preliminary reports in the investigations into both crashes found that the planes’ automated anti-stall system pushed the nose of the plane down after receiving a faulty sensor reading.
Muilenburg acknowledged in his apology that both reports found the plane’s automated system had acted in error, and said that Boeing was working on a fix that "will ensure accidents like that of Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 never happen again."
BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images
Boeing’s 737 Max jets will remain grounded around the world as Boeing completes its software fix. They will not resume service until the Federal Aviation Administration and its equivalent regulators around the world approve the fix.
Boeing announced on Friday that it will cut production of the plane model from 52 planes a month to 42 as investors express concerns about the impact of the crashes.
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