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Kenyan family files lawsuit against Boeing over Ethiopian Airlines crash

Nairobi – A Kenyan family has filed a lawsuit in Chicago against American aviation giant Boeing over March 10 Ethiopian Airlines crash that killed 157 people, lawyers and family members said on Tuesday.

Ethiopian Airlines
This handout photograph released from the Twitter account of Ethiopian Airlines on March 10, 2019, shows a man inspecting what is believed to be wreckage at the crash site of an Ethiopia Airlines aircraft near Bishoftu, a town some 60 kilometres southeast of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. – A Nairobi-bound Boeing 737 crashed six minutes after an early-morning takeoff from Addis Ababa on March 10, killing all 149 passengers and eight crew on board, Ethiopian Airlines said as world leaders offered condolences to distraught next-of-kin. People holding passports from 32 countries and the UN were on board the plane which ploughed into a field just 60 kilometres (37 miles) southeast of Addis Ababa, the carrier’s CEO Tewolde GebreMariam told journalists in the capital, lamenting this “very sad and tragic day.” (Photo by HO / TWITTER ACCOUNT OF ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES / AFP) /

Siblings of 29-year-old engineer George Kabau said they wanted to force the company to release documents and emails relating to its 737 MAX 8 model.

737 MAX 8 model was grounded worldwide after two major planes crashed in Ethiopia and Indonesia.

A preliminary report released earlier this month indicated Ethiopian Airlines pilots wrestled with a computer system that repeatedly ordered the nose down because of faulty sensor data.

The same system was a focus of the preliminary report into the October Lion Air crash in Indonesia, which killed 189 people.

Dozens of families are already suing Boeing over the Lion Air crash, and three lawsuits have already been lodged over the Ethiopian Airlines crash, by the families of two Americans, including consumer activist Ralph Nader’s great niece, and a Rwandan.

Lion Air’s co-founder on Monday lashed out at Boeing’s handling of the accidents.
Kabua’s sister, Esther Kabau-Wanyoike, choked up as she told a news conference that she wanted to use her brother’s death to improve aviation safety.

“He didn’t leave a child. My mum is devastated,” she said. “We can use his demise to ensure safer travel for all.”
U.S. lawyer Nomi Husain, who is also representing one of the American families, said the lawsuit was filed in Chicago late on Monday.

The family was seeking to hold Boeing accountable, he said.
“We want to let the litigation process play out. When you put profits over safety, you will be held accountable and you will pay a price,’’he said.

Boeing said it would not comment on the lawsuit directly.

“As the investigation continues, Boeing is cooperating fully with the investigating authorities,” the company said in a statement.

Kenya had the largest number of citizens on the flight from Addis Ababa to Nairobi.

At least 32 Kenyans were on board, the airline said at the time, although that number may be larger because some of the travelers were dual nationals and the full manifest has still not been released. (Reuters/NAN)

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