Boeing to spend $50 million to support 737 Max crash victim families

Paul Njoroge who lost his wife three children and mother-in-law in the Ethiopian Airlines crash

USA aerospace and defense giant Boeing announced on Wednesday that it had dedicated half of the $100 million it pledged to give to families of victims of the fatal Lion Air and Ethiopian Air crashes - and that it had retained the services of famed attorney Kenneth Feinberg to oversee its compensation fund.

Paul Njoroge said he has "nightmares about how (his children) must have clung to their mother crying" during the doomed flight.

Mike Perrone, president of the union that represents about 11,000 FAA workers including safety inspectors, also addressed the subcommittee and said company employees now do more than 90% of the FAA's aircraft-certification work.

A man whose family was killed in the crash of a Boeing 737 Max jet in Ethiopia accused the company of wrongful conduct and told a U.S. House subcommittee that the process to approve aircraft must be strengthened.

The suit states the plaintiffs all purchased tickets for Southwest Airlines or American Airlines for flights on 737 MAX series planes before they were grounded by the Federal Aviation Administration on March 13.

Njoroge, 35, instructed reporters after he testified he didn't suppose the public would believe Boeing is going ahead.

His wife, three children and mother-in-law were on the Boeing 737 Max that crashed after take-off. The FAA's top official has stood behind his agency's work.

Southwest Airlines Co LUV.N joined US rivals on Thursday in cancelling more flights until early November due to the continued grounding of Boeing Co's BA.N 737 MAX, which has also prompted the low-priced carrier to freeze new pilot hiring.

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Njoroge went further in an interview earlier this week with The Associated Press, insisting Boeing should scrap the plane and company executives should resign and face criminal charges.

The Justice Department and two congressional committees are investigating Boeing's development and marketing of the Max. "It is you who must be the leaders in this fight for aviation safety in the world", said Mr Njoroge said.

Feinberg has administered funds set up to help victims of the 9/11 terror attacks, the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and other disasters and product litigation.

The discussion about foreign pilots being responsible for the crash has angered the families.

On Wednesday Boeing said "it has dedicated US$50 million of a previously announced US$100 million fund to provide near-term financial assistance to families of the victims" in the two crashes.

But allocating half the fund has only added "a new layer of confusion to expedient and efficient relief to these families", he said in a statement.

Paul Njoroge (Nih-JOR-Gay) says Wednesday that Boeing was left to police itself and allowed to sell the Max without recertifying it as a new aircraft. "Instead, they are now making it harder". Boeing said the aid will be separate from payments resulting from lawsuits over the accidents.

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