Boeing has announced that they will be paying the families of the 346 people killed in the two 737 MAX crashes $144,500 each, from a $50 million financial assistance fund created in July.
The two administrators of the Boeing Financial Assistance Fund, Kenneth R. Feinberg and Camille S. Biros, will begin accepting claims from families immediately. Families will not be required to waive or release the right to litigate in order to participate.
To remain eligible for compensation, families must submit their claims no later than December 31st 2019.
“The opening of this fund is an important step in our efforts to help out affected families.”Dennis Muilenburg, chairman, president and CEO of The Boeing Company
The $50 million Boeing Financial Assistance Fund represents the initial expenditure of a $100 million pledge by Boeing to address family and community needs of those affected by the tragedies.
Boeing will use the other half of the $100 million to support education and economic empowerment in impacted communities.
Since the second 737 MAX crash of Ethiopian Airlines in March, Boeing has had over 100 lawsuits filed against them by at least twelve separate law firms.
The lawsuits are representing the families of the crash victims, however families of about 60 victims have yet to approach Boeing with any legal matters.
Additionally, Boeing has partnered with Global Impact to establish the Boeing Support Fund, which is a separate charitable fund that gives Boeing employees and retires a way to contribute.
To date, over $780,000 has been raised to help support crash affected communities.
Citing Reuters, the lawsuits assert that Boeing defectively designed the automated flight control system. The system in question is the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS).
Designed to prevent the nose of the 737 MAX pitching up too high, MCAS had a design flaw that is believed to have contributed to the loss of Lion Air JT610 and Ethiopian Airlines ET302.
Since the Ethiopian Airlines accident in March, the 737 MAX has been grounded around the world; resulting in catastrophic scheduling and financial pains for airlines around the world.
Boeing is aiming to perform the certification flights for the 737 MAX very soon, however whether the aircraft can fly again depends on complete agreement from various nations around the world.