The relatives of victims of the two 737 Max 8 accidents in Indonesia in 2018 and Ethiopia in 2019 have begun to receive the USD 500 million compensation from Boeing according to a release from the US Law firm Ribbeck Law Chartered. The fund will be distributed to the victims’ heirs, relatives, and beneficiaries.
It’s been 2-3 years since the 737 Max 8 planes crashed, result of loss of crucial functionality within the planes. In total, 346 individuals were killed in the crashs, including Ethiopians, Kenyans, Canadians, Italians, Chinese, Americans, Britons, French, Egyptians, Germans, Indians, and Slovakians.
Ribbeck Law Chartered, which represents more than 90 clients, issued a statement highlighting the three-year legal battle to collect the funds.
“This puts an end to the civil and criminal lawsuits launched against Boeing following the sad accidents of Lion Air JT610 on October 29, 2018 and Ethiopian Airlines ET302 on March 10, 2019,” said Ribbeck Law Chartered’s Manuel von Ribbeck.
The Ethiopian Airlines flight bound for Nairobi, Kenya, crashed shortly after takeoff from Addis Ababa’s Bole International Airport, killing all 149 passengers and crew members on board.
“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.