Boeing has reached an agreement with the families of the victims of the Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX 8 crash that killed 157 people in March 2019 and has admitted responsibility for the crash according to legal documents filed with a court in Chicago on Wednesday.
“Boeing is committed to ensuring that all families who lost loved ones in the accidents are fully and fairly compensated for their loss,” the company said in a statement passed to AFP news agency on Wednesday.
“By accepting responsibility, Boeing’s agreement with the families allows the parties to focus their efforts on determining the appropriate compensation for each family,” the aerospace giant added.
The lead lawyers for victims’ families hailed the agreement as “historic” and a “significant milestone for the families in their pursuit of justice against Boeing.”
“It will ensure they are all treated equitably and eligible to recover full damages,” said lawyers Robert Clifford, Steven Marks and Justin Green in a statement.
Ethiopian Airlines flight ET302 from Addis Abeba to Nairobi crashed in a field six minutes after taking off on 10 March 2019.
The accident had resulted in the grounding of the 737 MAX models for 20 months and the worst crisis in the history of the American aircraft manufacturer, as it came after a 737 MAX operated by Lion Air crashed in Indonesia in October 2018, killing 189 people.
The proposed deal Wednesday does not mention sums, but specifies that jurors will be tasked with assessing “fair and reasonable compensation amounts based on the evidence presented.”
The families of the victims will be able to lobby for compensation in US courts. The 157 people who died were of 35 different nationalities.
In January, Boeing agreed to pay more than $2.5 billion to settle certain lawsuits.
The aeronautical giant admitted that two of its employees had misled the FAA, the aviation regulator in the United States.