A $500 million U.S. fund is compensated to the relatives of 346 people who were killed in two fatal Boeing 737 MAX crashes. This claim is a part of a settlement with the U.S. Justice Department. In January, Boeing Co had agreed to pay $500 million to compensate the beneficiaries of the passengers who died in Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 in 2018 and 2019.
Nearly $1.45 million will be given to the eligible families. Administrators Ken Feinberg and Camille Biros gave a joined statement that the money will be paid on a rolling basis as claim forms are submitted and completed. October 15 is the deadline to complete the claim forms. The fund is part of a $2.5 billion Justice Department settlement reached in January. After the prosecutors charged the company with fraud for certifying the 737 MAX following a Lion Air crash on Oct. 29, 2018 and an Ethiopian Airlines disaster on March 10, 2019.
Criminal prosecution has been avoided by this settlement by Boeing. In July 2019, Boeing named Feinberg and Biros to oversee the distribution of a separate $50 million to the families of those who were killed in the crashes. The same formula is being followed in the new distribution. Boeing still faces many lawsuits asking why the MAX continued flying after the first disaster. A fine of $243.6 million and compensation to airlines of $1.77 billion over fraud conspiracy charges were the settlements by the DOJ.
Some lawmakers say that the government did not go far enough. Meanwhile Boeing says that it has taken numerous steps to overhaul its safety culture. The 737 MAX, for its two fatal crashes was grounded for 20 months after that. After Boeing made software upgrades and training changes, the FAA lifted the order. Last month, Boeing agreed to pay a $17 million FAA fine. This is after it installed equipment on more than 700 Boeing 737 MAX and NG aircraft that contained sensors that were not approved. FAA Administrator Steve Dickson said that the FAA will hold Boeing and the aviation industry accountable to keep their skies safe.