The first Ethiopian Airlines crash lawsuit on behalf of an American has been filed. The family of a woman killed in the airline’s crash last month filed the wrongful death lawsuit in a Chicago federal court.
Plane Crashed Six Minutes After Takeoff
Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 was a scheduled international passenger flight from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to Nairobi, Kenya. On March 10, 2019, the Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft took off from Addis Ababa Bole International Airport at 8:38 a.m. local time, with eight crew members and 149 passengers on board. Among the passengers was Samya Stumo, a 24-year-old American employee of the health systems development organization ThinkWell. The plane crashed six minutes after takeoff near the town of Bishoftu, killing all 157 people on board.
The Ethiopian Airlines crash represents the deadliest incident in the airline’s history. It was also the deadliest aircraft accident to occur in Ethiopia.
The cause of the Ethiopian Airlines crash remains under investigation by authorities.
Ethiopian Airlines Crash Lawsuit Names Three Defendants
On April 4, 2019, Ms. Stumo’s family filed a federal wrongful death lawsuit in the United States District Court in Chicago. The lawsuit names three defendants:
- Ethiopian Airlines;
- Boeing, the Chicago-based manufacturer of the aircraft; and
- Rosemount Aerospace Inc., the Delaware company that made the plane’s Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) flight control system.
The Ethiopian Airlines crash lawsuit lodges nine counts against these companies, including negligence, breach of warranty, failure to warn, and civil conspiracy.
The wrongful death lawsuit accuses Boeing of rushing the 737 Max 8 into the marketplace to compete with Airbus’s rival A320 aircraft. In so doing, the Ethiopian Airlines crash lawsuit alleges that Boeing “put profits over safety” and exhibited “conscious disregard for the lives of others.”
The Stumo family’s wrongful death lawsuit also points to Boeing’s claim that the Max 8 was so similar to past 737 models that pilots would not need to be retrained – an apparent attempt to convince airlines to purchase it. According to the lawsuit, this sales pitch meant that pilots were unaware of the MCAS system and how to use it, since it was meant to operate automatically. The Ethiopian Airlines crash lawsuit alleges that pilots who did receive training reported that the MCAS system was not mentioned.
Attorneys for the family also filed a notice of claim against the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The notice of claim is the first step before filing a lawsuit against the FAA. The agency has six months to respond before the family can file suit.
Second Crash in Less Than Five Months
The Ethiopian Airlines crash was the second involving a Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft in less than five months. The previous crash, Lion Air Flight 610, killed 189 people off the coast of Indonesia on October 29, 2018. 346 people have been killed in total on the two flights.
In response to the two crashes, the FAA grounded all Boeing 737 MAX 8 and MAX 9 aircraft in the United States on March 13, following similar actions across the globe. The worldwide fleet of 737 MAX aircraft at the time of the FAA grounding was 387 planes.
In grounding the aircraft, the FAA cited new information about the similarity of the two crashes that raised the “possibility of a shared cause.” Preliminary investigations suggested that a faulty sensor in the MCAS flight control system may have played a role in both the Ethiopian Airlines crash and the Lion Air crash. Pilots were unable to prevent the plane from nosediving in each incident.
Illinois Wrongful Death Lawyers
The loss of a loved one can be devastating. At GWC Injury Lawyers, we know the consequences of this loss all too well.
It is because of the toll that a wrongful death takes that we are so dedicated to helping spouses and next of kin get the compensation they deserve. If someone else is at fault for your loved one’s death, we want to help you recover the largest settlement or verdict possible.
With more than $2 billion successfully recovered for our clients, the Illinois wrongful death lawyers at GWC Injury Lawyers can provide you with the experience and determination that you need to fight for the justice that you deserve.
If your loved one has been killed because of someone else’s negligent actions, please contact GWC today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our wrongful death lawyers. Call our office at (312) 464-1234 or click here to chat with a representative at any time.