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Relatives of 737 Max Crash Victims Will Have Strong Case for Damages, Expert Says


The fatal crashes of two Boeing Co. 737 Max jets and the fleet’s worldwide grounding have triggered a complicated scramble regarding legal liability involving the manufacturer, airlines and the victims' families.

Boeing’s risks might be rising after a report in the Seattle Times that the company’s safety analysis for the airliner’s new flight control system had crucial flaws. Much of the legal liability depends on the findings of investigators, as well as the contracts Boeing has with airlines that purchased the planes.

But one thing so far appears clear: The families of passengers who perished in the crashes of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 on March 10 and Lion Air Flight 610 in October will have strong claims for damages. Questions remain, however, about whether some of those legal cases will be heard in the U.S. or abroad.

“They are in a sense the innocent participants in the whole thing, and it’s really a function of when and how much” the families receive in damages — “and not if,” said Mark A. Dombroff, an attorney with law firm LeClairRyan in Alexandria, Va., who often represents airlines.

Read the full article in the Los Angeles Times here.

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