Boeing sued in Seattle over 737 MAX

Feb. 13, 2020, © Leeham News: A Seattle law firm filed what is believed to be the first lawsuit over the Boeing 737 MAX crisis in King County Superior Court.

King County includes Seattle and Renton, where Boeing’s Commercial Airplanes division is headquartered.

Lane Powell PC filed the lawsuit (20-2-04003-7) naming The Boeing Co. and BCA as defendants. The plaintiffs are two special purpose companies (SPC) that own two 737-8-based MAX BBJs (business jets.) This is believed to be the first BBJ owners to file suit against Boeing.

Seeks to return the airplanes

The 44-page complaint asks the court to allow the SPCs to return the BBJs to Boeing. One was delivered in November 2018, shortly after the first MAX accident, Lion Air JT610, happened in Indonesia. The second was delivered in January 2019. The second MAX accident, Ethiopian Airlines ET302, happened two months later. Three days after this, the Federal Aviation Administration grounded the MAX. The BBJs have been grounded along with the world’s airline MAX fleet.

The plaintiffs, F & L Aviation IV and  Brilliant Aviation Ltd, claimed they would not have ordered the airplanes had they known MCAS existed and fundamental changes were designed into the airplane. They relied on Boeing assurances that the MAX was virtually identical to the 737 NG, not requiring additional training or have significantly different flight characteristics.

The lawsuit claims fraud, material misrepresentation of fact and breach of contract. It also claims violation of the Washington consumer protection act and product liability of the Washington Product Liability Act.

It seeks to void the purchase agreement and refund of all payments, plus damages and legal fees.


12 Comments on “Boeing sued in Seattle over 737 MAX

  1. “. It also claims violation of the Washington consumer protection”

    Would a commercial entity be able to demand “consumer protections”?
    Here in Germany at least those “protections” shield, as the name says, consumers i.e. final recipients ( those who are stuck with VAT 🙂

  2. I can imagine a significant proportion of wealthy people refusing to board a MAX, and being wealthy, they can make that choice stick

    • Excellent article, thanks for that. The concept of empathy is really interesting. Thanks for posting.

      • IMU a good tag would be “fealty”
        The concept of mutual support before nobility got the notion ( by way of having the longer knifes to force the commoner ) that their relation to non nobility was a one sided more or less rightless servdom to nobility.
        And in that path to change you find the reason why today’s (Boeing) management is on the brink of getting their heads chopped.

        • Hello Uwe, yes, I agree that Fealty describes the current situation. I think there’s a lot of merit in the notion that the old structure was built on Empathy. But… we quickly descend into a philosophical discussion beyond the scope of this blog 🙂

          • “past”
            mutual allegiance by way of fealty was the “better” description I brought up to replace “empathy”.

            the deterioration to a one sided arrangement were
            the “upper” side ( aka management ) has turned parasitic and destroyed the existing allegiance by way of handling the “lower” side as right less serfs with peer group pressure demanding ever meaner measures applied to the serfs.

        • Hi Uwe, I can not reply directly to your comment below but my impression was that empathy was some sort of Utopian ideal where the collaboration is freely given while Fealty seemed to be more of a forced loyalty to someone who has power over you.

          In other words – empathy would endure, fealty would disappear as soon as it could 🙂

    • By “interesting” do you mean total nonsense?

      Wow, 757 sim experience. We have ourselves an expert here.

      • 🙂

        Total nonsense is too harsh. It’s a point of view. It is also a point of view that doesn’t need a pilot’s experience – it is more from a system designer’s perspective and considering how the organisation limitations impacted the system’s development. I have a certain sympathy for what is said in the article 🙂

    • Probably the most brilliant article written yet on the development of MCAS.
      It focuses on the core issues of the computers and software design, not the simulator validation and emails, which is a distraction past the initial design.
      He didn’t sound like they could fix it, which I am still optimistic that can be done. I don’t know too much about computers, but if they can got the speed trim and yaw damper to work, I think they can fix MCAS. Just crashing an airliner by running it out of gas, they just made an obvious human error, fed by human and cultural factors. Boeing hasn’t admitted this, so until they do, they can’t try to fix those factors. Fire the cynical email writers and their managers who didn’t design MCAS? Ya, that’ll work.

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