© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A Boeing 737 MAX aircraft lands at Boeing Field in Seattle after a test flight
By David Shepardson and Tracy Rucinski
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Prominent lawyers Kenneth Feinberg and Camille Biros are hired to oversee a $ 500 million victim compensation fund for the families of 346 people killed in two fatal Boeing (NYSE 🙂 737 MAX accidents , confirmed a spokeswoman for Feinberg on Wednesday.
As part of an agreement with the Ministry of Justice Boeing Co. agreed in January to pay $ 500 million to compensate the heirs, relatives and beneficiaries of passengers who died on Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 in 2018 and 2019.
Wednesday marks the second anniversary of the crash in Ethiopia that resulted in the MAX's 20-month global grounding, which was lifted in November.
Boeing and the Justice Department declined to comment.
The $ 500 million was part of a deferred $ 2.5 billion law enforcement agreement that Boeing signed with federal prosecutors through the MAX in January.
Boeing had to propose three candidates for the position, and the Department of Justice had the right to select the administrator from among the proposed candidates.
The settlement, which allowed Boeing to avoid criminal prosecution, also includes a $ 243.6 million fine and $ 1.77 billion in compensation to airlines for fraudulent conspiracy related to the flawed design of the Aircraft.
The Justice Department said in January: "Boeing employees have chosen the path of win over openness by keeping essential information from the FAA about the operation of their 737 Max aircraft and trying to cover up their deception."
Under the terms of the settlement, the $ 500 million fund will have no impact on any ongoing lawsuits filed by relatives against Boeing. Feinberg will make recommendations about payments, but the Justice Department will make final decisions on all payments.
In July 2019, Boeing hired Feinberg to oversee the distribution of $ 50 million to the families of those killed in the accidents.
Feinberg and Biros have managed numerous compensation funds, including for victims of September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, General Motors Co (NYSE 🙂 ignition switch crashes, and numerous school shootings.
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