Apology spurs more crash families to sue Boeing

World | ASSOCIATED PRESS 10 Apr 2019

More families of victims of the Lion Air crash in Indonesia are suing Boeing Co after its chief executive apologized and said a software update for the MAX 8 jet would prevent further disasters.

Family members and lawyers said that Dennis Muilenburg's comment relating to an automated flight system was an admission that helps their cases.

The anti-stall system is suspected to be a cause of the Lion Air crash in October and an Ethiopian Airlines crash in March that also involved a MAX 8 jet. The two crashes killed a total of 346 people.

Preliminary reports into both crashes found that faulty sensor readings erroneously triggered the anti-stall system that pushed the plane's nose down. Pilots of each plane struggled in vain to regain control.

Families of 11 Lion Air victims said they are joining dozens of other Indonesian families in filing lawsuits against Boeing.

"Boeing's CEO explicitly apologized to 346 passenger families," said Merdian Agustin, whose husband died in the crash. "We hope this is good momentum to have compensation rights."

Agustin said that she and dozens of other families have not received the 1.2 billion rupiah (HK$660,000) compensation they are entitled to in Indonesia because they refused to sign a document that forfeits their right to sue Lion Air, Boeing or their subsidiaries.

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