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Boeing settles over 90% of Lion Air lawsuits

written by Sandy Milne | July 8, 2020

Lion Air 737 MAX pictured (Boeing)

Boeing has settled nearly all wrongful deaths claims linked to the ill-fated Lion Air Flight 610, according to a filing submitted to a Chicago court on Tuesday.

The October 2018 crash was followed soon after by Ethiopian Flight 302, prompting the grounding of the 737 MAX and an FAA probe into its Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS).

This week, the company said that claims relating to 171 of 189 people on board the flight have been resolved. This figure includes 140 of 150 claims brought before the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

Though the public filing did not disclose the amount paid out to victims’ estates, sources cited by Reuters in November 2019 suggest that some Lion Air cases had been settled for around $1.2 million apiece. At that point, about half of claims brought over Flight 610 had been settled.

Amounts made out to families were paid on top of government-mandated payments from the low-cost carrier, which the New York Times reported as 1.3 billion rupiah, or US$91,600, each.

A spokesman for Boeing said the company remains committed to resolving the remaining cases.

“We extend our deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of all those onboard Lion Air Flight 610,” said the spokesman.

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“We are pleased to have made significant progress in recent months in resolving cases brought by the victims’ families on terms that we believe fairly compensate them.”

The manufacturer is also facing outstanding lawsuits over Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, which crashed on its way from Addis Ababa to Nairobi. In the wake of the second crash, the company poured $50 million into the newly-created Boeing Financial Assistance Fund – which provides around $144,000 each to families of the 346 passengers killed in the 737 MAX crash, without affecting their standing to seek compensation in court.

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