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Boeing argues passengers died so quickly in plane crash they didn't have time to feel pain

Boeing argues passengers died so quickly in plane crash they didn't have time to feel pain

In a filing, Boeing is arguing that passengers killed in a 2019 plane crash didn't feel any pain as they passed away so quickly

Attorneys for Boeing and the families of those killed in plane crash are currently involved in a messy legal dispute over damages the company is required to pay.

In March 2019, Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed near Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in what was the second of two fatal Boeing 737 Max crashes within just five months.

The devastating crash left all 157 passengers and crew on board dead, after the aircraft slammed into the ground about six minutes after takeoff at an estimated 700 mph.

Now, lawyers of Boeing and the families of those who died are in a legal dispute over damages paid under the Illinois state case law.

The wreckage of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302.
REUTERS / Alamy Stock Photo

In a 27 February court filing first reported by the Wall Street Journal, Boeing's lawyers cited an expert that said victims in the crash hit the ground too fast for it to be physically possible for their brains to even process pain before they died.

But attorneys for the devastated families say they should be compensated for the suffering and terror their relatives went through in the minutes before the 737 hit the ground.

According to the filing, Boeing's lawyers say that 'undisputed evidence shows that death was instantaneous, and any speculation about what the passengers might have felt as the plane made impact is unfounded'.

Referencing Illinois law, Boeing's lawyers said in the claim that damages can only be paid for victims if there is evidence that suffering did actually occur.

But with the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, medical experts that were cited by Boeing in the filing said that the crash did take place faster than the human brain can process.

In a separate filing by the Wall Street Journal, attorneys representing the families for the 157 people on board said that they 'undeniably suffered horrific emotional distress, pain and suffering, and physical impact/injury while they endured extreme G-forces, braced for impact, knew the airplane was malfunctioning, and ultimately plummeted nose-down to the ground at terrifying speed'.

Families of the victims have made their voices heard in the years since the accident.
Xinhua / Alamy Stock Photo

Boeing accepted financial responsibility for the accident which was caused by faulty automated systems.

A decision on how much damages Boeing will be forced to pay will be decided later this year.

Speaking to UNILAD, a Boeing spokesperson said: "We are deeply sorry to all who lost loved ones on Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Flight 302.

"We have acknowledged the terrible impact of these tragic accidents and made an upfront commitment to fully and fairly compensate every family who suffered a loss.

"Over the past several years, we have kept our commitment as we settled a significant majority of claims and we look forward to constructively resolving the remaining cases to ensure that the families are fully and fairly compensated."

Featured Image Credit: REUTERS/MediaPunch Inc/Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: Travel, News