The family of Samya Stumo, who was killed in an Ethiopian Airlines crash last month, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Boeing, Ethiopian Airlines and a Delaware company accused of manufacturing a defective part of the plane.
On March 10, Stumo was traveling for her job when the Boeing 737 Max 8 went down. The crash killed all 157 passengers.
This is the first lawsuit on behalf of an American and contains nine counts against Ethiopian Airlines, Boeing and Rosemount Aerospace, Inc., including negligence, breach of warranty, failure to warn and civil conspiracy.
The lawsuit alleges that Boeing rushed the 737 Max 8 to market to compete with rival Airbus and that company’s A320 aircraft. It says that the company put profits ahead of safety and had a conscious disregard for the lives of others.
The lawsuit additionally points at Boeing’s Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, otherwise known as MCAS. The system is designed to automatically lower the nose of a plan when a sensor indicates the plane is at risk of stalling. The pilots allegedly weren’t aware of the MCAS system because it was supposed to operate automatically.
The preliminary report by the Ethiopian Transport Ministry said that the pilots on the flight performed Boeing’s procedures several times, but were unable to regain control of the plane before it crashed.
Stumo’s family members talked about how wonderful their daughter was during a press conference Thursday. They said she raised pigs on the family’s farm and even taught herself how to read while her parents took care of her little brother who died from cancer.
Her father, Michael Stumo, said that his wife woke him up the morning of March 10 tell him a plane crashed in Ethiopia.
“I did not believe that Samya could be on that plane,” he said. “I could not lose another child. But she was on the plane. I could not breathe.”
Her brother, Adnaan, said Samya taught him about sensitivity to others, self-awareness and joyfulness.
“But what she had to offer the world of global health was even greater,” he said. “Give Samya the next half-century to apply her intelligence and zeal to the institutional failings of international aid, and the world would be utterly changed.”
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