At least 400 pilots who flew the Boeing 737 MAX are suing the aircraft manufacturer, accusing the company of putting profit ahead of safety. They accuse the US aircraft manufacturer of an “unprecedented cover-up” of “known design flaws” with the plane. The lawsuit claims that pilots’ salaries and careers have been devastated as a result of the grounding of the aircraft.
Known as “Pilot X” the plaintiff has filed a class-action lawsuit against Boeing on behalf of more then 400 pilots who work for the same airline and have flown the MAX. The lawsuit claims pilots have suffered “financial and other losses” and have faced career uncertainty due to the worldwide grounding of the MAX aircraft. They are seeking compensation from the manufacturers for these losses, which, although not yet calculated, are “expected to be in the millions of dollars.”
“When regulators worldwide faced doubts about the safety of Boeing’s 737 MAX design, they [Boeing] acted quickly to ground the fleet. Boeing’s failures effectively grounded a host of pilots too,” said Joseph Wheeler, principal and legal director of IALPG, one of the law firms representing the pilots in the class-action. In an official statement, “Many pilots worldwide have either been laid off, made to relocate bases, or at least suffered significant diminishment to flight opportunities and pay,” he added.
Wheeler, states that many pilots were not aware that the aircraft they had to fly had “defective equipment” and was “dangerously designed”. The pilots now accuse Boeing of being “engaged in an unprecedented cover-up of the known design flaws of the MAX, which predictably resulted in the crashes of two MAX aircraft and the worldwide grounding of the MAX fleet.”
Patrick Jones, managing partner and founder of PMJ PLLC, another law firm also involved in the class-action said: “Pilots trusted Boeing to sell a safe aircraft that they could manage in any emergency scenario, but that trust was clearly abused.”
The lawsuit was filed on 21 June, the same time as the Paris air show, to send a message to Boeing.