CHICAGO (AP) — The family of a longtime Nigerian diplomat killed in the 2019 crash of a Boeing 737 Max in Ethiopia has joined litigation against the company in U.S. federal court.
Lawyers for heirs of Abiodun Bashua accused Boeing of negligence in development of the Max.
The 67-year-old Bashua had held many foreign service jobs for Nigeria and worked with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa over a 40-year career. He was among the 157 people killed when a Max operated by Ethiopian Airlines crashed shortly after takeoff from Addis Ababa.
“Thinking of him sitting in a plane, a place he was very comfortable ... watching a bunch of people falling to the ground and knowing that they were about to perish, knowing that for the first time in a long time he could not do anything about it, is one of those memories that haunts me today,” one of his sons, Lekan Bashua of Chicago, said Wednesday during a news conference organized by the family’s lawyers.
The Bashua family lawsuit, which also named Boeing contractors Rosemount Aerospace and Rockwell Collins Inc., was filed last month in U.S. district court in Chicago, where lawsuits filed by dozens of families have been consolidated into two cases — one for the Ethiopian crash and the other for a 2018 Max crash in Indonesia that killed 189 people.
Most of the other lawsuits were filed in 2019. Lawyers said it took longer for the extended Bashua family to decide on its legal team.
In a statement, Chicago-based Boeing said, “We will never forget the lives lost on board Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302. We are committed to continuing to engage with the families in an effort to resolve the claims.”