16:59 GMT +310 December 2019
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    Aerial photos show Boeing 737 Max airplanes on the tarmac in Seattle

    Investors Sue Boeing Over Failure to Immediately Probe 737 Max After Two Crashes

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    The Kirby Family Partnership, a Boeing investor, on Monday filed a lawsuit in the Court of Chancery in Delaware, accusing the American airplane manufacturer of not taking any actions to investigate the safety of its 737 Max 8 plane until its second deadly crash.

    A Boeing 737 Max 8 plane operated by Ethiopian Airlines crashed on March 10 after taking off from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, at around 8:30 a.m. local time, killing all 157 people onboard. According to Ethiopian Airlines, contact with the plane was lost at 8:44 a.m., just a few minutes after it took off. On October 29, 2018, a Lion Air-operated 737 Max 8 crashed into the Java Sea just minutes after taking off from the Indonesian capital of Jakarta. All 189 people onboard were killed. 

    The Kirby Family Partnership, which referred to the Lion Air crash as “the biggest red flag an airline manufacturer can face,” has gathered internal corporate records that show that Boeing did not take any actions to guarantee the safety of the plane until after the Ethiopian Airlines disaster occurred, Reuters reported. 

    The lawsuit filed Monday is an example of a derivative complaint, which is used by shareholders to hold corporate officials liable for accidents. The intent of derivative cases, unlike shareholder class action suits, is to change “corporate governance” rather than “recover losses from falling stock prices,” Reuters explained.

    Two other derivative lawsuits against Boeing were also filed last month: one by the Kirby Family Partnership in Cook County, Illinois, where Boeing’s headquarters are located, and another in Delaware’s Court of Chancery by individual Boeing investor Arthur Isman. 

    Boeing also faces multiple lawsuits by victims’ families, other shareholders and even pilots over lost pay due to the aircraft’s grounding. Boeing is in the process of settling around 150 lawsuits filed by victims’ family members. 

    A Seattle law firm confirmed Friday that Boeing has settled four of the 46 cases by families of passengers who were on the Lion Air flight. Nine cases related to the Lion Air crash were also settled in Chicago Thursday, CBS reported.

    The 737 Max 8 has been grounded for nine months. Last week, Boeing revealed that its jet is expected to return to commercial service in January.

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