April 4, 2019 / 4:41 PM / 3 months ago

Family of American woman sues Boeing, Ethiopian Airlines over 737 Max crash

CHICAGO, April 4 (Reuters) - The family of an American woman killed in the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX filed a lawsuit on Thursday against the airline, Boeing Co and Rosemount Aerospace Inc, the manufacturer of a part of the aircraft that is the focus of investigators.

The complaint was filed in U.S. federal court in Chicago by the parents of Samya Stumo, who lawyers said was on a work trip when Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed on March 10 soon after taking off from Addis Ababa, killing all 157 on board.

It was the first lawsuit filed on behalf of a U.S. victim of the Ethiopian disaster and the first to target the airline and parts manufacturer Rosemount, in addition to Boeing.

The complaint accuses Boeing of putting “profits over safety” and said the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration must also be held accountable for certifying the 737 MAX.

The 737 MAX planes were grounded worldwide following the Ethiopian Airlines disaster, which came five months after a Lion Air crash in Indonesia that killed 189 people.

The doomed Ethiopian flight repeatedly nosedived as the pilots battled to control the nearly full aircraft before it crashed, Ethiopian authorities said on Thursday, while urging Boeing to review its flight control technology on the MAX.

In a statement following Ethiopia’s preliminary report, Boeing said flight data recorder information indicates the airplane had an erroneous angle of attack sensor input that activated a system known as MCAS, similar to the Lion Air incident.

Rosemount makes the angle of attack sensor.

Chicago-based Boeing, which is also the target of lawsuits over the Oct. 29 Indonesia crash, has been working on a software fix and new training guidelines for the MAX.

Lawyers for Stumo’s family said it had also filed a federal tort claim against the FAA over the Ethiopian crash.

Stumo, originally from Massachusetts, is the niece of consumer activist Ralph Nader. (Reporting by Tracy Rucinski Editing by Noeleen Walder and Sonya Hepinstall)

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