Boeing 737 MAX crashes result in legal trouble

On Behalf of | Apr 18, 2019 | Wrongful Death

On April 8, the brother of a victim in the March 10 crash involving Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 filed a lawsuit against the Boeing Company. This is just one example of the legal troubles that the aviation company faces in the wake of its two 737 MAX crashes. Ohio residents may remember that the March 10 incident, where the plane took a nosedive shortly after departing Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, killed 157 people.

Five months earlier, Lion Air Flight 610 plunged into the Java Sea after departing Jakarta, Indonesia, killing 189. In early March 2019, a Seattle law firm filed a lawsuit against Boeing on behalf of several of the victims’ families. A law firm in Indonesia then filed a similar lawsuit.

In all of these lawsuits, the accusation is the same: Boeing had installed an unfit automation system in its new line of 737s, the 737 MAX, in the effort to make it competitive in the airline market. It was only after the Lion Air crash that Boeing told pilots about the system’s existence. The CEO acknowledged later that it was faulty.

The system is called the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System. What it does is cause the flight control system to change the “angle of attack” so that the plane goes down. Apparently, erroneous information activated MCAS and led to the crashes.

In many of the suits that have been filed against Boeing under wrongful death law, the plaintiffs are suing for punitive damages. These go above and beyond economic and non-economic losses and are meant to punish the defendant for criminal conduct. Those who believe they have grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit may want to consult a personal injury lawyer and see what they might be eligible for. The lawyer may handle all negotiations for a settlement, litigating if one cannot be achieved.