Boeing pays Kenyan family over Ethiopian plane crash

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The first of the 32 Kenyan families of Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET302 crash victims received a settlement payment from Boeing. 

Boeing company agreed to pay $3 million (Sh334.8 million) to settle the case after the deadly crash of Ethopian Airlines flight ET302 enroute to Nairobi in March 2019. The crash killed all 149 passengers on board, including 32 Kenyans among them. The aircraft involved in the accident was a brand new Boeing 737 MAX 8. 

“We sought and asked for the largest amount possible to be paid as compensation to the families we represent,” Manuel von Ribbeck from Ribbeck Law Chartered, a law firm that represented the family, stated after the settlement. “It is important to note however that no amount of money in the world will bring our clients’ beloved family members back. Our clients sought to find the truth behind the causes of the crash and jail those responsible for killing their relatives.

According to Bloomberg, it would cost Boeing Company at least $1 billion to settle claims from families of Lion Air Flight JT610 and Ethiopian Airlines flight ET302 victims.

In July 2019, Boeing announced $100 million in funds for the families and communities of the crash victims. The funds are aimed at supporting education, community programs as well as living expenses for affected families. Boeing said it would partner with local governments and non-profit organizations to address these needs. The fund would be distributed over multiple years. 

On March 13, 2019, after the two crashes, the Boeing 737 MAX became grounded worldwide. In September 2019, the final report on the Boeing 737 MAX by a legislative committee in the United States found “repeated and serious failures” by Boeing. In the following year, Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) faced multiple public investigations around the aircraft faults and certification process. 

On November 18, 2020, FAA ungrounded the Boeing 737 MAX, allowing it to enter commercial service again.


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