Boeing Co. and lawyers representing families of victims of a 737 MAX crash agreed in court on Wednesday to hold a conference call with U.S. government crash probe authorities over access to documents related to the now-grounded aircraft’s design, development and two fatal disasters involving it.
Boeing has resisted sharing documents sought by lawyers representing families of victims of an Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX crash on March 10, which killed 157 people five months after a similar Lion Air disaster in which 189 people died.
The lawyers, who are asking why the MAX continued flying after the first crash, say the materials are critical for assessing liability by Boeing and punitive damages.
“They’re hot documents,” Robert Clifford, lead counsel for the plaintiffs, told reporters, saying some show what and when Boeing knew about factors that played a role in the Lion Air accident.
Boeing has argued that the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is restricting release of the documents under international guidelines on crash probes and that they are confidential.
The plane, once Boeing’s fastest-selling jet, has been grounded globally since mid-March while Boeing addresses software and training issues involved in both disasters, costing the planemaker nearly $19 billion.
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