Boeing settled almost all Lion Air death claims

CHICAGO • Boeing Co said it settled 90% of the wrongful death claims filed in a US court over the 2018 crash of a 737 Max jet operated by Lion Air Group.

Claims relating to 171 of the 189 people on board Lion Air Flight JT 610 have been settled, Boeing said on Tuesday in a Chicago Federal Court filing. The company did not say how much it paid to the families or estates of the passengers and crew members killed in the crash.

Of the resolved cases, five were partially settled because they involved more than one claim per person killed or involved claims represented by more than one law firm, Chicago-based Boeing said. The company said it is optimistic that the remaining cases will be resolved.

The crash occurred over the Java Sea in October 2018 and was followed five months later by another 737 Max crash in Ethiopia that killed 157 people. The disasters led to lawsuits alleging the jets were unsafe and had a faulty software system. The 737 fleet has been grounded, Boeing sales have plunged and the US government is investigating the aircraft’s flight-control system.

“There are some remaining cases with extraordinary losses, including kids who lost both parents,” said Sanjiv Singh, a lawyer representing families of some victims. “It remains to be seen whether we can bring

Boeing to the table on these cases.” Singh said he is prepared to go to court, including in the US, to settle those remaining cases.

A year ago, Boeing said it would offer US$100 million (RM427 million) to support the families of victims and communities of those affected by the crashes.

“Boeing has been working diligently to settle these cases through a mediation process,” Peter Pedraza, a company spokesman, said in an email. “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”. — Bloomberg