COMPENSATION: A total of 32 Kenyan families whose kin died in the Ethiopian Airlines plane crash two years ago will each receive $1.4 million (Sh153.3 million).
The move follows a settlement reached between the plane manufacturer, Boeing and the US Justice Department (DOJ), according to a statement by Ribbeck Law Chartered, representing at least 88 of the families whose kin were killed in the two 737 MAX 8 crashes.
“In the settlement agreement, Boeing has agreed to pay $2.5 billion (Sh273.8 billion), $500 million (Sh54.7 million) of which will go to the victims’ families translating into at least $1.4 million per victim to the families,” said Manuel von Ribbeck of Ribbeck Law Chartered.
The plane, a 737 MAX 8 en-route to Nairobi from Ethiopia crashed near the town of Bishoftu in March 2019, six minutes after take off killing all 157 passengers and crew.
Ethiopian Airlines flight ET302 crash occurred six months after a similar aircraft model owned by Indonesia’s Lion Air crashed into the Java Sea killing all189 passengers and crew.
“We have already contacted the DOJ in order to start the process of getting these funds on behalf of our clients,” said von Ribbeck.
The two deadly crashes prompted a worldwide grounding of the 737 Max 8 planes in March 2019, of which around 350 had been delivered at the time, while they investigated the causes of the accidents.
Boeing said the two accidents were linked to the 737’s manoeuvring characteristics augmentation system (MCAS) introduced to the 737 Max to manage changes in behaviour created by the plane having much larger engines than its predecessors.