3. Justice is elusive for Boeing's 346 victims
Boeing is navigating how to compensate the families of the 346 victims who died due to faulty technology onboard the 737 MAX. It’s the latest corporation to grapple with how much money to hand over to families who lost loved ones as a result of its actions, Axios' Courtenay Brown reports.
Why it matters: Money is an inadequate substitute for loss. It's nearly always a lose-lose scenario for culpable companies who'll see bad PR no matter how much they pay — and grieving families who won't see their loved ones return.
The backstory: Last year, Boeing announced it set aside $100 million for a victims' compensation fund. But weeks later, Boeing said only half of that sum would be paid directly to families and that it had hired victim-compensation attorney Kenneth Feinberg to oversee those payouts.
So far, 266 families have received $144,500 each, Camille Biros, a partner at Feinberg's firm, tells Axios.
What they’re saying: Lawyers representing the families say that's paltry — especially when you compare it to the $62.2 million Boeing’s ex-CEO Dennis Muilenburg got after his firing.
The intrigue: Before Muilenburg stepped down, he publicly pledged to contribute "substantial amounts" of his own money to the 737 MAX victims' fund.
- It’s unclear whether that will still happen. In a statement, Boeing said it had no update on Muilenburg's promise.
What's new: Axios has learned that Boeing has asked Feinberg to take a bigger role with the compensation fund to figure out how to allocate the remaining $50 million — the plans for which, until now, remained unclear.
- The $50 million probably won't be paid out directly to the victims' families, but rather be put toward a project that would serve the impacted communities, which span more than 35 countries.
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