Boeing faces legal action from Russian leasing firm Avia. The company claims that Boeing deliberately misled them in order to secure an order for 35 of the aircraft. The claim follows two fatal crashes in the last 12 months, calling into question the aircraft’s safety.
Avia Capital Services ordered 35 aircraft before the events leading to the Boeing 737 MAX grounding. The order for 35 737 MAX planes will now be canceled.
As reported by AIN Online, this is the first lawsuit in connection with the MAX grounding. Avia is requesting that the $35m deposit paid for the aircraft be returned with interest. Avia is also seeking close to $200m in damages and an undisclosed amount in punitive damages.
The first of many lawsuits
Boeing faces legal action following Avia refusing its compensation offer. Avia has made claims that Boeing knowingly mispresented the safety of the $135m aircraft to convince them to order a fleet.
The DC-10 Got Over Its Grounding, Why Won’t The 737 MAX?
Boeing is also negotiating multiple compensation deals with other customers. It seems likely that this first lawsuit in connection with the grounding will lead the way for others. Avia’s lawyer, Steven Marks of Podhurst Orseck, an aviation law firm based in Miami, is reported in the Financial Times as saying,
“I think you will see a number of other operators filing suit in coming months.”
Mr. Marks also represents 30 families of victims of the Lion Air Crash in October 2018 and the Ethiopian Airlines crash in March of this year. The two fatal crashes caused the loss of 346 lives.
The worldwide Boeing 737 MAX grounding followed, a set of circumstances that has plunged Boeing and its reputation into question. In June, a whistleblower from Boeing approached the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) with serious accusations of negligence regarding the safety of the 737 MAX.