Family members of the late Nigerian writer and professor, Pius Adesanmi, have filed a lawsuit against Boeing for “failing to properly inform pilots about the dangers and risks presented by its new Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS),” the controversial software implicated in both the crash of Ethiopian Airline Flight 302 and Lion Air Flight JT 610. The suit, dated June 4th, was filed by aviation law attorneys Nomaan Husain, Floyd Wisner and Omar Khawaja on behalf of the bereaved family at the U.S. District Court in Chicago.
“This action arises from the horrific crash of ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES Flight 302 (“Flight 302”) on March 10, 2019, in which 157 people lost their lives. The aircraft involved in Flight 302 was a Boeing 737 MAX 8. This crash came less than five months after Lion Air Flight JT 610 – another Boeing 737 MAX 8 – crashed into the Java Sea on October 29, 2018, killing all 189 onboard. An investigation into both crashes is ongoing, but the similarities in the aircraft and the investigative findings for the crashes thus far points to a common cause,” part of the lawsuit read.
According to Hussain, founder and senior partner at Husain Law + Associates, PC, Boeing placed profit over human safety and it resulted in tragedy. Hence, the goal of the lawsuit is to get answers for the grieving family of late Pius Adesanmi and also to hold Boeing accountable for causing such tragedy. The suit listed the plaintiffs as Lois Olufunke Adesanmi, mother of the late writer, and Iyabo Toluhi, named on behalf of the daughter of the late writer, who is a minor.
This lawsuit by the Adesanmi’s happens to be the 13th lawsuit against Boeing since the crash three months ago, and it certainly won’t be the last as more families continue to seek redress. The aircraft manufacturer has tendered an apology for its negligence with a promise to do better to deliver on its promise of passenger safety while working to upgrade the MCAS software which it hopes will convince regulators that it is safe for all 737 MAX to return to the skies.
However, a report by Business Insider reveals that Boeing, which has been trying to reach an out of court settlement with bereaved families may have a location-switch strategy that could devalue the cases against them. The aircraft manufacturer may attempt to move litigation from the United States to Indonesia or Ethiopia, this will result in a less thorough examination of the company and drive down the cost of settlement for bereaved families. This strategy is common in air disaster litigation.
Meanwhile, further safety issues have been identified in the grounded 737 Max model and the generation of planes that preceded it. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has asked airlines to check for improperly manufactured parts in more than 300 737 aircraft. The FAA said the affected components(part of the wing called a slat track which helps provide lift during takeoff and landing) “may be susceptible to premature failure or cracks resulting from the improper manufacturing process.” Boeing said it had not been told of any issues during flying regarding the potentially faulty parts, but that all affected models will be checked and replaced.