(Reuters) – Families of Boeing 737 MAX crash victims urge US lawmakers to hold the aircraft maker responsible for accidents that killed a total of 346 people by blocking a major legal defense, according to a letter sent Tuesday by Reuters .
Chicago-based Boeing Co. faces about 100 lawsuits from families with 157 victims of an Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX crash and has claimed that because the aircraft was certified by the US Federal Aviation Administration, it is immune from liability,
But families say manufacturers must not "hide" behind "FAA certification when a certified aircraft proves to be deficient.
"No regulation should protect Boeing and other manufacturers from liability when planes crash and kill innocent people," they wrote in the letter to the two-party Senate committee leader.
Boeing spokesman Gordon Johndroe said: "Boeing has offered to work with the families of the victims to plan mediation to discuss the settlement of claims on terms that fairly compensate them and are engaged in this mediation process."
But some families conduct a jury trial, which would give attorneys greater access to Boeing's internal records and subject the firm to a deeper examination of its relationship with the FAA.
The 737 MAX crash in Ethiopia occurred just five months after a similar disaster on a Lion Air flight in Indonesia. This triggered a global grounding of the aircraft, which has been parked for 1
The letter comes before a Senate Commerce Committee that voted on Wednesday on comprehensive reforms of how the FAA certifies new aircraft.
Boeing has already settled the majority of lawsuits related to the Lion Air crash but is still the target of a US federal criminal investigation and investigations by US lawmakers and aviation and transportation authorities. Catalog