Boeing is giving $100 million to help the families and communities of people who died in two 737 Max crashes this past year.
According to the company, the money will be given to local non-profits and community groups that will transfer the funds to the relatives of 346 people that died as a result of the crashes. The money will be used to support education, including college tuition or other schooling expenses for children of victims, and “hardship or living expenses for impacted families,” Boeing (BA) said in a statement.
However, the news did not sit well with families in Ethiopia, who sued the company after the March 2019 Boeing 737 Max crash. “This type of offer so early in the litigation process is unprecedented. Because there is still so much to learn about what occurred, it also appears to be disingenuous,” said attorney Bob Clifford who represents several of the affected Ethiopian families. Clifford added that Boeing’s offer was “vague” and that families are more interested in recovering the remains of their loved ones rather than money.
Families who choose to take money from the $100 million payout will not be required to give up the right to pursue legal action, a Boing spokesperson stated. “We at Boeing are sorry for the tragic loss of lives in both of these accidents and these lives lost will continue to weigh heavily on our hearts and on our minds for years to come. The families and loved ones of those on board have our deepest sympathies, and we hope this initial outreach can help bring them comfort,” said Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing’s chairman, president, and CEO.
CNN reports Boeing’s 737 Max jets were grounded worldwide in March after one of the aircrafts, flown by Ethiopian Airlines, crashed shortly after takeoff. It followed a crash in late 2018 of a 737 Max flown by Indonesian airline Lion Air, according to CNN.