DEMAND FOR JUSTICE

More families move to court in Sh100bn Ethiopia plane crash case

In Summary

•Kenya was the worst hit in the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 commercial plane crash, with 32 victims

•The Ethiopian Airlines case is set to be heard again in court on September 17.

Ethiopian Red Cross workers carry a body bag with the remains of Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 302 plane crash victims at the scene of a plane crash, near the town of Bishoftu, southeast of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia March 12, 2019.
Ethiopian Red Cross workers carry a body bag with the remains of Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 302 plane crash victims at the scene of a plane crash, near the town of Bishoftu, southeast of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia March 12, 2019.
Image: REUTERS

Ribbeck Law Chartered and Global Aviation Law Group recently filed a lawsuit for a Kenyan family and demanded one billion US dollars for the 66 families that they represent in the two Boeing 737 Max 8 plane crashes.

Kenya was the worst hit in the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 commercial plane crash, with 32 victims.

Passengers from 35 countries were on board the Ethiopian Airlines flight from Addis Ababa to Nairobi that crashed on 10 March, killing 157 people.

Canada suffered the second-highest casualties after Kenya at 18. Others included:  USA (8), Egypt (6), China (8), Ethiopia (9), Netherlands (5), UK (7), Russia (3), France (7), Italy (8).

Ribbeck Law Chartered has so far filed 44 cases against the Boeing Company in Federal Court in Chicago for the recent Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft crashes.

“Our clients are seeking more than one billion US dollars for their damages. Ribbeck Law Chartered and Global Aviation Law Group represent 67 families of both crashes, the majority of the passengers and cabin crew members affected by Boeing 737 Max 8 disasters and as we prepare the complaints,” Manuel von Ribbeck of Ribbeck Law Chartered stated

“We will continue to file additional lawsuits to seek justice for our clients in the courts of the United States of America.”

With thousands of 737 Max orders on its books, these latest developments are a huge blow to Boeing.

Investigation teams both in Indonesia and Ethiopia have been zeroing in on faulty sensors and a flight control system, which is designed to push the nose down in the air.

“Crash investigators believe the Ethiopian Airlines ‘crew followed all of the procedures’ and made repeated attempts to stabilize the aircraft and regain control of the jet from the same automated anti-stall system MCAS that had been implicated in the Lion Air crash.” Monica Kelly of Ribbeck Law Chartered said.

In second quarter earnings call on July 24, 2019, Boeing’s CEO Dennis Muilenburg said the company may consider discontinuing production of its 737 Max planes if the worldwide grounding continues.

In addition, if the 737 Max aircraft aren’t back in service soon, some 12,000 jobs could be at risk in Boeing's Renton, Washington, factories.

“This is truly a case of corporate greed, whereby Boeing pushed ahead with flights with no concern for their passenger,” Kelly said.

The Ethiopian Airlines case is set to be heard again in court on September 17.

Global Aviation Law Group’s Deon Botha said if no settlement is reached in court the firm will petition the court that the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines cases be consolidated to avoid contradicting orders from two different judges.

The law firm's Nairobi representative, David Njoroge of Igeria & Ngugi Advocates, said Boeing’s intentional conduct not grounding the 737 Max 8 aircraft after the first crash was a crime.

“We will seek that the authorities in Kenya and Ethiopia and some of the multiple countries that lost their citizens file criminal cases against Boeing’s CEO, its board of directors and anyone involved in the decision making of this company,” he said.