Families of Canadians killed in Ethiopian Airlines crash file lawsuit

The families of Canadians killed in the Ethiopian Airlines crash last month launched a lawsuit against Boeing on Monday, alleging the plane manufacturer put profits over safety when it rushed a new aircraft model to market.

All 157 people on board were killed when the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft en route from Addis Ababa to Nairobi crashed on March 10.

Lawyers in Chicago filed the suit on behalf of a Brampton, Ont., family that lost six members and a man who lost his Hamilton-based wife and three young children in the crash.

“Blinded by its greed, Boeing haphazardly rushed the 737 MAX 8 to market, with the knowledge and tacit approval of the United States Federal Aviation Administration while Boeing actively concealed the nature of the automated system defects,” the unproven claim alleged.

“Numerous decisions by Boeing’s leadership substantially contributed to the subject crash and demonstrate Boeing’s conscious disregard for the lives of others.”

The allegations have not been proven in court. Boeing did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Manant Vaidya, a Brampton man who lost his parents, sister, brother-in-law and two nieces, said his family had been travelling to Kenya for a safari vacation that they had spent years saving for.

“They all died together due to the insensitivity and greed of the maker of the plane,” Vaidya told a news conference in Chicago, where the lawsuits were filed. “I’m here to get answers. I owe that to my family that died.”

Vaidya said it’s still hard to believe so many members of his family are gone.

“We still cry when we think of the horror of their last moments,” he said. “I am now more like a robot just following my daily routine.”

Paul Njoroge lost his entire immediate family: his wife Carolyne Karanja, his seven-year old son Ryan, four-year-old daughter Kelly and nine-month old daughter Rubi, died in the crash.

“I’m left with nothing, without a home,” said a teary Njoroge, who also lost his mother-in-law Ann Karanja..

The family was travelling to Kenya to visit the children’s grandfather.

The two families have also filed a claim against the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, alleging the regulator enabled the plane’s rush to market.

Liam Casey, The Canadian Press