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

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Boeing Co (BA.N) said on Wednesday it will dedicate half of a $100 million fund it created to address two deadly crashes of its 737 MAX planes to financial relief for the families of those killed, with compensation expert Ken Feinberg hired to oversee the distribution. The announcement of Feinberg’s hiring came minutes before the start of a U.S. House of Representatives hearing that will feature testimony from a father who lost three children, his wife and mother-in-law in a 737 MAX Ethiopian Air crash in March. Feinberg said on Wednesday his team will “start immediately drafting a claims protocol for those eligible” with the first meeting with Boeing later this week in Washington. Boeing said on July 3 it would give $100 million over multiple years to local governments and non-profit organizations to help families and communities affected by the crashes. Boeing reiterated on Wednesday that the money distributed through the fund would be independent from the outcome of any lawsuits. The company is facing a slew of litigation from the families of victims of both crashes. “Through our partnership with Feinberg and Biros, we hope affected families receive needed assistance as quickly and efficiently as possible,” Boeing Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg said in a statement, referring to Camille Biros, a lawyer also hired to design and administer the funds. Boeing’s initial announcement of the $100 million was met with anger by some victims’ families who described the offer as a publicity stunt. It remains unclear who will qualify for the aid and when the funds will be distributed.

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