The recently controversial American aircraft manufacturer, Boeing, has decided to give out the sum of $100 million (₦36.05b) to families of the affected victims of the Boeing 737 Max plane crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia.
The payment will stretch over years and Boeing would be free of possible lawsuits filed as a result of the air mishap, which accounted for 346 deaths of people onboard.
Boeing said the money will assist in family expenses such as living and education and will be used in supporting community programmes. However, this move was dismissed by lawyers for families of the victims.
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The mishap with flight ET302 of the Ethiopian Airlines was the second of such involving the 737 Max in just 5 months. Indonesian carrier Lion Air, an identical aircraft, crashed into the sea off Jakarta last year October.
Several investigators pertaining to the crash did focus on the control system on the aircraft and the manufacturer has been cooperating with the regulators in rolling out an upgrade for the software. The Boeing 737 Max, which is a top-selling aircraft, has been banned from operating since March this year, with no specific time in sight on when it would be cleared to fly.
In a statement made on Wednesday, Boeing said:
"funds will support education, hardship and living expenses for impacted families, community programs, and economic development in impacted communities. Boeing will partner with local governments and non-profit organizations to address these needs. This initial investment will be made over multiple years."
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Chairman and chief executive, Dennis Muilenburg, added:
"We at Boeing are sorry for the tragic loss of lives in both of these accidents and these lives lost will continue to weigh heavily on our hearts and on our minds for years to come.
"The families and loved ones of those on board have our deepest sympathies, and we hope this initial outreach can help bring them comfort,"
Although, many affected families are requesting for higher compensation, it seems like all they want is the truth
Nomi Husain, a lawyer based in Texas and who is representing the victims’ families of the ET 302, made a comment on the payment from Boeing that:
"doesn't come anywhere close to compensating the families for what has been taken from them"
He also disclosed to Tom Burridge, transport correspondent of BBC, that:
"some of our clients are not interested in financial compensation at this point" and that Boeing "put profit over safety to get their number-one selling plane to market"
This claim was refuted by the aircraft manufacturer.
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So far, seven cases have been filed by Husain, representing the interests of the families. Some of the lawsuits are asking for $276 million to be paid as damages. He also made an estimation of fifty lawsuits already filed by families of the victims.
Meanwhile, some of the families are still awaiting further information about the crashes’ technical causes and how the 737 was cleared by the regulators before they decide on taking any legal action. He believes that truth is what many just want concerning the incident.
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Robert Clifford, representing twenty-three families, disclosed that:
"This type of offer so early in the litigation process is unprecedented. Because there is still so much to learn about what occurred, it also appears to be disingenuous."
What do you think about this payment? Is it fair enough?
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