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Boeing sued over crash as political woes deepen

By Wire services
Published: March 28, 2019, 4:57 PM

Boeing Co. was sued on behalf of a passenger killed in the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines flight over claims that its 737 Max 8 isn’t safely designed, deepening the legal and political woes the planemaker faces.

The Chicago-based company is under intense scrutiny after two crashes less than half a year apart killed 346 people.

Even as the company tries to restore confidence in the 737 Max, it’s facing a criminal probe and questions from lawmakers over whether it has too cozy a relationship with its U.S. regulator, the Federal Aviation Administration.

The suit was filed on behalf of the estate of passenger Jackson Musoni of Rwanda. The complaint follows earlier suits against the company over the October crash. A Boeing spokeswoman declined to comment on Thursday’s complaint in federal court in Chicago.

“The subject accident occurred because, among other things, Boeing defectively designed a new flight control system for the Boeing 737 Max 8 that automatically and erroneously pushes the aircraft’s nose down, and because Boeing failed to warn of the defect,” according to the complaint.

Steven Marks, the lawyer who filed Thursday’s complaint, criticized the certification process for the 737 Max 8, saying it amounted to an “amendment” of a 50-year-old model rather than a more rigorous approval process for a “new aircraft.”

“Boeing and the FAA knew about the dangers and they failed to ground the fleet,” said Marks, who also is suing over the Lion Air crash. He said the similarities between the accidents are “very clear.”

The single-aisle Max family is the Chicago-based planemaker’s largest seller and accounts for almost one-third of the company’s operating profit.