Boeing ‘refusing to release documents’ on 737 Max crash in Ethiopia

Posted on October 27, 2020

By Clodagh Finn, Oct 23, 2020, Irish Examiner

Lawyers for relatives of Irish UN worker Mick Ryan, who was killed in an air crash in 2019, have accused Boeing of refusing to hand over relevant documents and of dragging its feet in the case.

More than 18 months after 157 people died when a Boeing 737 Max crashed six minutes after take-off from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, lawyers say they are still seeking important information.
“Boeing, thus far, has been less than forthcoming with information about the events that led to the horrific tragedy,” aviation lawyers Steven Marks and Kristina Infante of Podhurst Orseck law firm in Florida told the Irish Examiner.

While Boeing has said it released millions of documents, lawyers say the aircraft manufacturing company has been less than transparent.

“Boeing has dragged its feet in handing over relevant documents that could reveal what it knew about the fatal flaws in the Max, when it knew about those flaws, and what it did about them,” said Mr Marks and Ms Infante.

They said they would continue to push for answers.

Cork woman Naoise Ryan, Mr Ryan’s wife, said it was more important than ever to make those flaws public at a time when Europe’s aviation regulator was suggesting the Boeing Max 737 plane could be back in the air by year-end. The Max aircraft was grounded globally in March 2019 after two crashes, five months apart, claimed 346 lives.

While Boeing was plunged into crisis and its then CEO Dennis Muilenburg lost his job, Ms Ryan says she and her family, and the families of the 156 others who died on Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 on March 10, 2019, still do not know the truth about the faults that led to the crash.

“I can’t believe they are considering putting these planes back in the air when we still don’t know why two planes crashed,” said Ms Ryan. “This happened to me and my family, but it could have been anybody. Somebody must be held to account.”

She said her husband, deputy chief engineer of the World Food Programme which recently won the Nobel Peace Prize, and his colleagues were aware of the risks facing humanitarian workers, such as hostage taking, landmines, and compound attacks.