• Family says it will sue FAA over Ethiopian Airlines crash

    By: Deborah Horne

    Updated:

    The family of a man killed in the Ethiopian Airlines crash plans to sue the Federal Aviation Administration.

    They blame the federal agency for failing to ensure the Boeing 737 Max was safe to fly.

    The family is still devastated. Their news conference was very emotional.

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    They contend Boeing's rush to beat rival Airbus to market with the 787 Max 8, as you see here 
    -- led to the deaths of their loved ones.

    "In a way, I feel so privileged that I got to see my brother just the before the crash," said Zekarias Asfaw, as he lowered his tear-stained face.

    The brother of Mulugeta Asfaw fought to control his emotions, but it was a losing battle.

    "He's killed by a chain of events that were overlooked," said Zekarias.

    Asfaw was one of more than 150 passengers and crew killed last March when Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed, nose first, six minutes after takeoff. 

    Its pilots were unable to override the anti-stall system on the 737 Max 8 jet, a system Boeing has now publicly conceded was flawed.

    "They never even sent out a simple card," said Zekarias of Boeing. "Yet, we see in the media 'we're sorry. We're sorry.' You're sorry to who?"

    Their pain was made worse, he says, since the crash that claimed his brother's life came four months after the doomed flight of an Indonesian airlines' Max jet, brought down by the same flaw.

    Their lawyers argue the FAA should have grounded the Max then.

    "We have alleged conspiracy against the FAA and Boeing, that they worked together," said Alisa Brodkowitz, of Friedman Rubin Law, Seattle. "And that's under Illinois law where we filed a lawsuits. That it's a civil conspiracy for two entities to work together to certify an aircraft that is not safe for the public."

    Asfaw's brother says their lawsuit is mainly for the three young children he leaves behind.

    "That, I think, would bring some sense of 'my dad died for a cause.' " said Zekarias, crying. "In my case, my brother died for a cause just to make us safe."

    His brother was just 48 when he died.

    Last month, the family filed lawsuit against Boeing, too.
     

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