Herrmann Law Group reached agreement with The Boeing Company on four cases in the crash of Lion Air Flight JT 610. This settlement was announced right before the one-year anniversary of the aviation disaster in Indonesia.
All 189 people on board the Boeing 737 Max 8 died when it crashed into the Java Sea shortly after taking off from Jakarta on Oct. 29, 2018. Four months later, another Boeing 737 Max 8 crashed on a flight from Addis Ababa in Ethiopia under similar circumstances. As a result, the aircraft was grounded worldwide.
Herrmann Law represents 46 of the victim families in the Lion Air crash. Negotiations with Boeing on the pending cases are ongoing. The firm also represents four victims in the Ethiopian Airlines crash.
“I’m not at liberty to discuss any numbers,” said Charles Herrmann, owner of Herrmann Law Group (www.hlg.lawyer). He added that the firm is fighting for amounts equal to what American victims would receive.
The only way corporations learn a lesson, Herrmann said, is when victim families receive large payments from lawsuits.
Herrmann, who represented victim families in the Russian shoot-down of Korean Airlines Flight 007 and numerous other high-profile cases, is internationally known as a premier aviation attorney. Herrmann Law Group handles personal injury cases ranging from aviation disasters to auto crashes.
Attorney Mark Lindquist has been working with Herrmann on the case. After serving as the elected Pierce County Prosecutor for a decade, he joined the firm in January. He and Herrmann have been in Indonesia with their clients and in Chicago where negotiations with Boeing took place.
“Our goals are justice for our clients, accountability for Boeing, and safer skies for everyone,” said Lindquist.
Herrmann Law represents one of the largest groups of plaintiffs in the mediation with Boeing. Lindquist attributed this to the connection they’ve developed with victim families. “We have spent significant time in Indonesia getting to know our clients, the country and the culture,” Lindquist said. “We understand our clients on a personal level.”
News of the settlements broke as the Indonesian Government issued a final report on the accident. The findings were highly critical of Boeing. Among other defects in the aircraft, a new computer program, known as MCAS, had too much power over the plane. Further, Boeing failed to properly inform pilots about the danger and even the existence of the new program.
“The final report essentially confirms that Boeing’s actions moved from simple negligence in the first place to intentional misconduct as they tried to conceal their errors,” said Herrmann. “Boeing hid the MCAS from the airlines and the pilots by removing notice and instruction on the MCAS from the manuals and even hid from the FAA the quadrupling of its power. Without proper training, the pilots didn’t know how to react. It was as though they were fighting a ghost.”
Investigators were also critical of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for serious failures in safety oversight.
“Victim families continue to suffer from this tragedy,” said Lindquist. “But there is some comfort in the truth emerging.”