United States, Illinois, Chicago - 04/26/2019 (PRDistribution.com)
Flight 302 victim’s family seeks justice for plane manufacturer’s negligence
The morning of March 10, 2019 will remain a chilling memory for the families of the 157 passengers and crew killed when Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed to the ground, nose first.
Attorneys representing crash victim Isabella Beryl Achieng Jaboma’s family say the tragedy could have been prevented, and seek to hold The Boeing Company – which manufactured the 737 Max aircraft – accountable for its reckless actions. They filed a lawsuit against Boeing today in Cook County – home of the company’s global headquarters – and seek one billion dollars in damages for the grievous loss their clients are suffering because of Boeing’s outrageous actions.
“If ever there was a case in which a corporate defendant should be held accountable for its reckless and negligent acts committed in putting profits ahead of people, this is that case,” said attorney Willie E. Gary, who filed the case for Jaboma’s family along with attorneys Larry A. Strauss and Candice Diah of Gary, Williams, Parenti, Watson & Gary, PLLC, along with co-counsel Chuck Chionuma of Chionuma Law Firm, LLC.
Jaboma’s father, Jaboma Banda Ochuodho Philip Akeyo, brother Allan Onyango Jaboma and her New York-based cousin George Omondi serve as the plaintiffs for Jaboma’s case.
“Boeing knew its plane had problems – the exact same 737-8 Max model plane crashed off Indonesia and killed 189 people just a few months before this one,” Gary said, referring to the Lion Air Flight JT610
crash that occurred on October 29, 2018. “Instead of putting safety first and grounding the planes, Boeing told the world its planes were perfectly safe to fly. If its planes were flying, Boeing’s profits kept soaring.”
Five months later, however, another Boeing 737-8 Max jet crashed – just six minutes after departing Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, with Jaboma and 156 others on board.
Jaboma, lovingly referred to as “Bella” by her family and friends, graduated summa cum laude from the University of Eastern Africa, Baraton. After working for the Rural Agency for Community Development and Assistance (RACIDA) humanitarian relief organization for just four months, the 32-year-old Kenyan was thrilled to attend a conference in Cairo on RACIDA’s behalf. She was returning home to Nairobi from the conference aboard Flight 302. Bella was Akeyo and wife Abigael’s only daughter, and the primary caregiver to her younger brother who has Down syndrome and lived with her. Before RACIDA, Bella had been volunteering at Kenya Hope for Cancer Kids for four years. She had only just begun her career and was establishing a better life for herself and her brother.
“As I talk to families who are still struggling to understand why this happened, they are wracked with grief while pondering the hell their loved ones experienced as Flight 302 was nose diving toward the ground. Boeing placed more emphasis on profits than the safety of those on board their aircraft, and as a result, hundreds of lives have been lost,” said Attorney Gary.
“American corporations operating in Africa often skirt the law, because rules and regulatory agencies may be lax or non-existent, the government lacks the resources – or worse, is corrupt,” said co-counsel Chuck Chionuma, who is originally from Umuahia, Nigeria. “We intend to make sure Boeing pays for the suffering it is causing.”
While Bella’s family continues to mourn the loss of their beloved daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece, cousin and friend, their attorneys are demanding answers and seeking justice to ensure that Bella’s life was not lost in vain.
Gary is no stranger to seeking justice. Gary and his legal team are known for taking on some of the nation’s most powerful corporate giants, including the airline industry. In 1995, a jury awarded Gary and his legal team a record-breaking, half-billion dollars against one of the world’s largest funeral chains, The Loewen Group. In addition, Gary is noted for winning a $240 million jury verdict in Orange County against the Walt Disney Corporation for his clients who alleged that Disney stole their idea for a sports theme park; and the list goes on and on.
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