American lawyer Manuel von Ribbeck of Ribbeck Law Chartered has filed a lawsuit against some former and current Boeing top staffers.
These include former Dennis Muilenburg (former CEO), David Calhoun (current CEO) and Mark Forkner (former Chief Technical Pilot).
The lawsuit is over the two fatal crashes of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes; Lion Air Flight 610 in Indonesia and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 in Ethiopia.
Ribbeck Law Chartered filed the complaint on behalf of Liu Chandra, a businessman who was a passenger onboard the Lion Air’s Boeing 737 Max 8 that crashed in Indonesia.
Mr. von Ribbeck explained that, prior to the crashes, Boeing called Indonesian pilots ‘idiots’ for wanting more training.
Boeing’s internal documents relating to the 737 MAX 8 crashes show that the company’s employees disregarded airline requests for more training for the aircraft.
Internal emails show employees discussing the requests for more training on the 737 MAX’s new systems.
A 2017 email from Boeing Pilot Mark Forkner stated; “Now friggin Lion Air might need a sim to fly the MAX, and maybe because of their own stupidity. I’m scrambling trying to figure out how to unscrew this now! idiots.”
The complaint also alleges that Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing’s former CEO, concealed the Boeing Max 8’s problems and instead blamed the airline’s pilots and maintenance practices.
“Muilenburg also influenced the FAA not to take corrective action,” stated Monica Kelly of Ribbeck Law Chartered.
In addition, Ribbeck Law’s complaint blames David Calhoun, Boeing’s newest CEO, for failing to prioritize safety issues, even after the crash in Indonesia, while serving as leader of Boeing’s Board of Directors.
Calhoun is accused of knowing immediately after the first Max 8 crash in Indonesia that there was a mechanical problem with the entire fleet of Boeing 737 Max 8 planes, and that the planes had to be grounded, but chose to keep flying them.
The law firm alleges that Boeing’s CEO, Board of Directors and pilots reportedly that it was like that more 737 Max 8 planes would crash and did nothing about it.
“Our clients deserve their day in court. At their request we have sued the individuals in charge of making Boeing’s decisions, those who chose to and sacrificed 346 lives to make Boeing more profits. We will demand that a jury in Chicago decides the punishment they deserve,” stated Monica Kelly.
She added that it is likely Boeing will have to pay at the end of the litigation more than USD 6 billion in damages to compensate the crash victims, investors and airlines, and in payment of fines imposed by the US Department of Justice in the criminal case it filed against Boeing.
“USD 2.5 billion have already been paid by Boeing to settle the criminal fraud charges filed against them by the US DOJ. Prior to that Boeing paid 100 million to assist the families and communities involved in these two tragedies,” explained Mr. von Ribbeck.
When asked about the impact of paying billions of dollars in compensation will have on Boeing, Mr. Von Ribbeck stated that “as I mentioned when we filed our first lawsuit, the Boeing company should not be greatly affected by it. Most of the payments will probably be made by insurance and reinsurance companies and as stated by the Wall Street firms, Boeing can afford that cost. Boeing posted record revenues of $101 billion and $10.6 billion in profits in recent years.”
This article was first published by Citizen Digital through Agencies