15 Kenyan families who lost their loved ones in the Ethiopian Airlines plane crash in March this year have rejected $100 million (Sh10 billion) offer from American aircraft manufacturer Boeing.
On Tuesday, Boeing offered the amount as an out-of-court compensation for families who lost their kin in two crashes involving Boeing 737 Max jets to withdraw cases filed in the United States.
Boeing the amount would cover victims of Ethiopian Airlines crash as well as Lion Air flight that went down in Indonesia in October 2018.
The Ethiopian flight killed all the 157 people on board, including 36 Kenyans, while 189 people perished in the Lion Air crash.
On Friday, lawyers representing the 15 Kenyan families said they will proceed with their case against Boeing to the end.
“Those whom we represent in totality have rejected the settlement terms, and the idea is to go for trial because once you go for trial, that’s when the statement will be made for purposes of the changes we are foreseeing in the aviation industry,” senior counsel Stephen Gachie said.
Gachie said that by giving the offer, Boeing is admitting to having made mistakes in the manufacturing of the 737 Max 8 aircraft.
“We foresee a situation where historic verdicts will be rendered by the courts. The reason why this case is of huge impact is because it’s going to change the history of aviation industry, it’s going to make people who make planes more responsible so that whenever you are traveling you don’t fear that maybe the manufacturer has done something which is wrong and therefore it’s a moment that the entire world is watching,” noted Murang'a Senator Irungu Kangata, who is among attorneys representing the families.
Several lawsuits have been filed in the US courts against Boeing, with families of the victims demanding millions of dollars in damages.