Did a major airline conspire to hide fatal flaws in the 737 MAX?

How much did airlines know about errors within the new Boeing jet?

Boeing released the 737 MAX as the latest and greatest fleet produced by mega manufacturer. Unfortunately, a fatal flaw in software resulted in multiple crashes and the deaths of hundreds of people.

What went wrong?

Multiple lawsuits are attempting to sort through the evidence and hold the responsible parties accountable for their role in the accidents. Some examples of victims seeking to find a resolution include:

  • Families. Boeing is facing multiple lawsuits from families who had loved ones aboard 737 MAX flights that ended in fatal crashes.
  • Pilots. Pilots are unable to fly and earn wages. These individuals allege the manufacturer's "unprecedented cover-up" of the flaws to the 737 MAX fleet led to the grounding of the fleet. Since the fleet is grounded, these pilots cannot fly. As a result, they are suing Boeing for lost wages.
  • Shareholders. Those who hold shares within Boeing have also filed suit against the company, stating they were presented fraudulent information about the safety of the fleet.

The manufacturer is also under investigation by the Department of Justice. The agency is looking into the certification process used to get the planes into the air in the first place. Criminal charges could result.

A new class of suits emerge: Those who bought tickets for the 737 MAX

One of the more recent lawsuits involves 11 individuals who purchased tickets to fly on a 737 MAX through Southwest Airlines. The individuals filed the lawsuit after the airline grounded the 737 MAX when two of the planes were involved in fatal accidents.

The people behind the suit claim the airline knew of the problem and continued to sell tickets. The airline disagrees. It stated that safety has been the company's "most important responsibility" and that it complies with all requirements regarding the safety of its aircraft.

According to the lawsuit, Boeing and Southwest chose not to inform pilots of the use of the new anti-stalled system that was linked to two crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia. The Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System at issue led to the death of all passengers on board these flights.

It is important to note Southwest is not the only major airline who flew the 737 MAX. At least two others used aircraft from this fleet. The aircraft manufacturer has implemented a software update that it claims solves the software's inaccurate angle-of-attack data at results in the pilot fighting with the anti-stall system during flight and led to the crashes. Boeing is waiting for the Federal Aviation Administration to recertify the fleet.

Lessons for victims: Multiple options for accountability

This piece provides an example of the many ways an aircraft accident impacts the community. Victims have options to hold responsible parties accountable for their wrongdoing. Legal remedies are available. If you are a victim, contact an attorney to discuss your options.