CHICAGO — The family of a suburban man who was killed in one of two commercial plane crashes of a Boeing 737 Max jet is now suing the Chicago-based company.
Antoine Lewis, a decorated Army captain, was among those killed in March when Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed minutes after takeoff.
It was the second deadly crash in five months involving a Boeing 737 Max jet.
“My husband`s death is the direct result of corporate greed gone wrong,” Yalena Lopez-Lewis, Lewis’ wife, said.
Wednesday, his wife filed a lawsuit claiming the Max design was rushed and faulty, and for months, potentially years, prior to the crash, the suit says Boeing knew about the risks, but subverted them, misled the public, its investors and its customers; failed to take adequate precautions and failed to inform pilots of the new systems it had implemented.
“There existed an unholy trinity between Boeing FAA and the airlines and American who all played fast and loose profits, not safety,” Tony Romanucci, attorney, said.
The jets have been grounded while Boeing works on a software fix. After reporting its largest loss ever, Boeing`s CEO is warning investors it may need to further slowdown or temporarily halt production of the 737 Max, but even if the aircraft are eventually cleared to fly again, Lopez-Lewis is calling on U.S. airlines to ban them now.
“It is clear that Boeing max is a flawed plane from its nose to its tail and should never be flown again,” Lopez-Lewis said. “U.S airlines should commit today to replace all Max planes in its fleet with an airplane that`s been proven to be safe.”
Boeing released a statement extending condolences to Lewis` family and all of the families who were on the Ethiopian airlines flight.
As the investigations continue, it says, “Boeing is cooperating fully with the investigating authorities. We won`t comment on the lawsuit directly. Safety is our highest priority as we design, build and support our airplanes.”
Boeing said it has set up $100 million fund for the families of the crash victims, but the attorney for the Lewis family calls that a publicity stunt.
In response to the call to ban the 737 Max, a spokesperson for American said customers can be assured an American Airlines pilot would never operate an unsafe aircraft. United Airlines said the safety of customers comes first and has fully cooperated with the FAA’s review of the MAX aircraft. Southwest Airlines would not comment.