Boeing accepts sole liability for fatal 737 Max crash in Ethiopia

Boeing’s lawyers have filed a joint court motion with the lawyers for the families of the 157 people who died in the 737 Max crash in Ethiopia.


Image: The Boeing Company

The company has accepted sole liability for the fatal accident and has laid out a process to settle almost all of the claims brought against it.

The filing states: “The defendant, Boeing, has admitted that it produced an airplane that had an unsafe condition that was a proximate cause of Plaintiff’s compensatory damages caused by the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 accident.”

Boeing has explicitly agreed that the pilots of flight 302 were not at fault and has also exonerated two Max suppliers.

The motion included a binding agreement on the settlement process which has been signed by all but two of the victims’ families.

The agreement states compensatory damages for each individual claim will be decided either in mediation or in Illinois court. Boeing has agreed not to try to force overseas families, many of which reside in Africa, to seek damages in their home countries, where awards would be far lower.

Boeing said the agreement “allows the parties to focus their efforts on determining the appropriate compensation for each family. Boeing is committed to ensuring that all families who lost loved ones in the accidents are fully and fairly compensated for their loss.”


The stipulation will mean Boeing will not be required to reveal the issues within the design and certification of the Max which led to the two crashes. The agreement will result in the closing of continued legal discovery processes or depositions that would seek further evidence of any wrongdoing by Boeing.