An Indonesian, whose son was killed when a Lion Air flight crashed last month, has sued Boeing Co alleging that a defect in the design of the 737 MAX 8 aircraft caused it to crash.
The lawsuit, filed on Wednesday in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, by the father of Dr. Rio Nanda Pratama, alleged that Boeing did not adequately warn Lion Air or its pilots of an unsafe design condition.
Boeing is headquartered in Illinois.
Lion Air Flight 610 crashed into the Java Sea shortly after take-off from Jakarta on Oct. 29, killing all 189 people on board.
Dr. Pratama of Indonesia, was flying home from a conference when the plane crashed. He was to be married this week, to his fiancee, Intan Syari, according to attorney Curtis Miner of the Florida-based law firm Colson Hicks Eidson, which is representing his father in the wrongful death lawsuit.
Indonesian investigators are due to publish a preliminary report on the crash later this month.
Boeing maintains that it is “confident in the safety of the 737 Max”.
Lion Air flight JT 610 was carrying 189 people when it crashed on 29 October.
It plummeted into the Java Sea following a request from the pilot for permission to turn back to the airport just moments after taking off from Jakarta.
It was later established that the aircraft had an airspeed indicator problem on its final four flights.
The lawsuit focuses on the 737 Max’s new automated flight control system, which it says was designed to help prevent pilots from raising the aircraft’s nose “dangerously high”.
“Under certain conditions [the system] can push the nose down unexpectedly and so strongly that the pilot cannot pull it back up in time to avoid a crash”, the lawsuit
“This automated feature can be triggered even if pilots are manually flying the aircraft and don’t expect flight-control computers to kick in.
“It is particularly surprising to hear from safety experts and the heads of pilots’ unions that Boeing failed to warn its customers and the pilots of its new 737 Max aircraft about this significant change in the flight-control systems.”