US: Boeing hires 9/11 compensation fund lawyer to dole out $50 million to victims of 737 Max crashes - PressFrom - US
  •   
  •   
  •   

USBoeing hires 9/11 compensation fund lawyer to dole out $50 million to victims of 737 Max crashes

21:30  17 july  2019
21:30  17 july  2019 Source:   cnn.com

9/11 Victim Compensation Fund renewal bill finally has a price tag: $10.2 billion

9/11 Victim Compensation Fund renewal bill finally has a price tag: $10.2 billion $10.2 billion. That’s the cost estimate issued Thursday by the Congressional Budget Office for compensating the people who are still dying and sick from their exposure following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. It covers the next 10 years. The number comes just a day before the House is expected to vote on a new bill to renew the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, which is running out of cash much faster than expected. The so-called CBO score is often only a formality, but many lawmakers depend on the number, especially when considering larger bills. Advocates hailed the development, and said it should clear the way for passage.

Boeing hires 9/11 compensation fund lawyer to dole out $50 million to victims of 737 Max crashes© Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images KARAWANG, INDONESIA - NOVEMBER 06: Families and colleagues of victims of Lion Air flight JT 610 cry on deck of Indonesian Navy ship KRI Banjarmasin during visit and pray at the site of the crash on November 6, 2018 in Karawang, Indonesia. Indonesian investigators said on Monday the airspeed indicator for Lion Air flight 610 malfunctioned during its last four flights, including the fatal flight on October 29, when the plane crashed into Java sea and killed all 189 people on board. The Boeing 737 plane crashed shortly after takeoff as investigators and agencies from around the world continue its week-long search for the main wreckage and cockpit voice recorder which might solve the mystery. (Photo by Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images)

Boeing has shifted its stance on how it plans to compensate families of those who died in two 737 Max crashes in the last year.

House approves 9/11 victims bill, sends it to Senate

House approves 9/11 victims bill, sends it to Senate The House has overwhelmingly approved a bill ensuring that a victims compensation fund for the Sept. 11 attacks never runs out of money. The 402-12 vote Friday sends the bill to the Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has agreed to call it up before the August recess. Lawmakers from both parties hailed the House vote, which comes a month after comedian Jon Stewart sharply criticized Congress for failing to act.

The company announced Wednesday that it has set aside $50 million to give directly to victims' families. Boeing had previously said it would pay out $100 million to local nonprofits and community groups that will distribute the funds to the relatives of the 346 people who died.

To facilitate the distribution of funds, Boeing has hired attorney Kenneth Feinberg and his colleague, Camille Biros, to come up with a formula to determine who gets how much money. Feinberg's Washington-based firm has overseen distribution to victims of several major events, such as the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, and the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

House votes to permanently reauthorize 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund

House votes to permanently reauthorize 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund The bill now heads to the Senate -- Mitch McConnell said he would put the bill on the floor for a vote in August . "The first responders who rushed into danger on September 11th, 2001 are the very definition of American heroes and patriots," McConnell said in a statement shortly after the vote: "The Senate has never forgotten the Victim Compensation Fund and we aren't about to start now. Nothing about our shared goal to provide for these heroes is remotely partisan. We will consider this important legislation soon." Rebecca Kaplan contributed to this report.

Some family members had criticized Boeing's initial commitment to distribute funds. At a congressional hearing Wednesday on the 737 Max crisis, Michael Stumo, the father of victim Samya Stumo, said Boeing's initial announcement "seemed like a PR stunt to us."

Bob Clifford, who represents dozens of families affected by the March 2019 crash of a Boeing 737 Max in Ethiopia, told CNN Business earlier this month that the $100 million offer from Boeing was "disingenuous" and "vague," noting the litigation process could bear out new information about the crash.

Asked Wednesday about Boeing's latest announcement, Clifford said that picking Feinberg to distribute the funds was "the one thing Boeing has gotten right." But Clifford still said he took issue with Boeing's process.

"Half of the fund for relief is a problem," he said in a statement to CNN Business. "Even giving Boeing its due, it missed its mark because they added a new layer of confusion to expedient and efficient relief to these families."

Boeing and Southwest Airlines conspired to hide flaws in the 737 Max jet, lawsuit alleges

Boeing and Southwest Airlines conspired to hide flaws in the 737 Max jet, lawsuit alleges Southwest said it will "vigorously defend" the claims in the suit, which was filed Thursday.

Clifford added that if Boeing "wanted to give real relief to the families, they should work with the insurance partners of Ethiopian Airlines to expedite payments to the families."

"Instead, they are now making it harder," he said, adding that he intends to notify Feinberg about these issues.

At the beginning of July, Boeing said it would give $100 million to support education, including college tuition or other schooling expenses for children of victims, and "hardship or living expenses for impacted families." Boeing said Wednesday the $50 million will come from that $100 million compensation fund, and it is designed to provide near-term financial help to the victims' families.

"The tragic loss of life in both accidents continues to weigh heavily on all of us at Boeing, and we have the utmost sympathy for the loved ones of those on board," said Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing's CEO, in a statement. "Through our partnership with Feinberg and Biros, we hope affected families receive needed assistance as quickly and efficiently as possible."

Boeing noted people who accept money from the compensation fund will not be required to give up the right to pursue legal action against the company. The spokesperson declined further comment on Boeing's ongoing lawsuits.

Senate to vote on 9/11 victims bill by Wednesday

Senate to vote on 9/11 victims bill by Wednesday The Senate will vote next week on a House-passed bill to extend the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. Under a deal reached on the Senate floor, lawmakers will vote on the bill by next Wednesday. As part of the agreement they are expected to also vote on two amendments to the bill, one from Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and one from Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.). The bill, which passed the House in a 402-12 vote, would reauthorize funding until fiscal 2090. It's expected to easily pass the Senate.

Boeing's 737 Max jets were grounded worldwide in March after one of the aircraft, flown by Ethiopian Airlines, crashed shortly after takeoff. It followed a crash in late 2018 of a 737 Max flown by Indonesian airline Lion Air.

The company is facing multiple lawsuits and federal investigations related to the 737 Max. The grounding has forced airlines to cancel hundreds of flights each week, and it's not clear when the 737 Max, which is Boeing's top-selling plane, will be cleared to fly again.

Boeing has pledged to deliver a software fix to address issues with its automatic safety features that were linked to both crashes. Experts had expected the jets to be back in the air in August — but those efforts were delayed after another potential issue with the 737 Max was discovered during testing.

-- CNN's Gregory Wallace and Jill Disis contributed to this report.

Boeing May Halt 737 Max Production as Economic Fallout Spreads.
The company is struggling to contain the fallout from two deadly crashes of the Max. It has already announced more than $8 billion in costs related to the accidents, and is producing the planes at a slower rate. The damage is spreading through the constellation of companies connected to Boeing, the nation’s largest aerospace manufacturer. Airlines around the world have canceled thousands of flights, costing them billions of dollars, and some carriers have reined in expansion plans. Suppliers like General Electric, which makes engines for the Max, are expecting lower revenue in the quarter. The economic toll is also rising.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks
usr: 3
This is interesting!