Boeing’s legal troubles over airplane grounding could just be taking off

Aviation & Space Law

Nearly three dozen lawsuits have been filed against Boeing since its 737 Max 8 aircraft operated by Lion Air crashed in Indonesia on Oct. 29, killing all 189 people aboard.

Now that an Ethiopian Air flight in a 737 Max 8 crashed in Ethiopia on March 10 and killed 157 people, and the United States and many other countries grounded the aircraft series pending further investigation, Boeing could face countless other lawsuits, report, Crain’s Chicago Business and CNN.

While the cause of the crashes is still unknown, similarities between the two point to a potential problem with the Boeing 737 Max’s Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, an anti-stalling software that could push an aircraft into a nosedive despite a pilot’s attempts to make it climb during takeoff.

Eight of the passengers on Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 were Americans, whose families could bring lawsuits against Boeing, according to Southwest Airlines, American Airlines or any other airline that operates the series also could sue over loss of revenue during the grounding of the fleet.

On Wednesday, Norwegian Air CEO Bjørn Kjos announced to customers in a recorded message that the airline would seek compensation from Boeing.

The investigation into the Ethiopian Air crash also could affect earlier lawsuits related to the Lion Air crash, particularly whether the two incidents were caused by the same problem.

Nearly all of them were filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County or the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, according to Crain’s Chicago Business. An additional case was filed in Seattle.

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Pete Flowers, a partner with plaintiffs law firm Meyers & Flowers in Chicago who filed a lawsuit against Boeing on behalf of a Lion Air crash passenger, said in a press release Wednesday that he thinks mounting evidence will prove that Boeing failed to manufacture a safe aircraft.

“The company’s ongoing negligence resulted in the deaths of passengers and crew of the Lion Air flight, and possibly now the Ethiopian Airlines flight as well,” Flowers said in the release. “It is no wonder so many countries are grounding Boeing’s 737 Max 8.”

In a statement issued Wednesday, Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing president, CEO and chairman, said: “Safety is a core value at Boeing for as long as we have been building airplanes; and it always will be. There is no greater priority for our company and our industry. We are doing everything we can to understand the cause of the accidents in partnership with the investigators, deploy safety enhancements and help ensure this does not happen again.”

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Edward Lott, Ph.D., M.B.A. is President and Managing Partner of Allentown-based ForLawFirmsOnly Marketing, Inc., a local search and digital marketing agency that offers clients lead generation, local seo and Google Maps Domination. Ed has been a digital entrepreneur since 1994, having discovered very early the opportunities the Internet offered. After having spent over two decades helping attorneys grow their practice, Ed joined the staff of ForLawFirmsOnly Marketing as President and Managing Partner, where he is expanding the agency’s cutting-edge services to the legal market. A true marketing futurist, Ed's vast experience working directly with attorneys has given him a unique perspective on law firm marketing not found in many other digital marketing agencies. Ed has reshaped the offerings of ForLawFirmsOnly to focus on growing law firms through a holistic approach to digital marketing evident in the reformulated lead generation processes now in place. Want to learn more about ForLawFirmsOnly Marketing, their lead generation programs, or just talk to Ed about his visions for helping law firms grow? Call him at 855-943-8736.

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