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Family of Lion Air co-pilot sues Boeing over fatal crash

Lion Air

(Reuters) — The family of the Indonesian co-pilot of a Lion Air flight that crashed in October, killing all 189 on board, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Boeing Co. in Chicago, adding to litigation piling up against the manufacturer in its hometown.

The lawsuit, filed Friday in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, alleges that a Lion Air-operated Boeing 737 MAX 8 was unreasonably dangerous because its sensors provided inconsistent information to both the pilots and the aircraft.

Boeing declined to comment on pending litigation.

Lion Air Flight 610 crashed into the Java Sea after take-off from Jakarta on Oct. 29.

The complaint was filed on behalf of pilot Harvino's widow and three children, who are all from Jakarta. It also alleges that the instruction manuals provided by Boeing with the 2-month-old plane were insufficient, leading to the death of the pilots, crew and passengers.

In a statement, law firm Gardiner Koch Weisberg & Wrona said Mr. Harvino and Flight 610 Capt. Bhayve Suneja were both experienced pilots, having logged more than 5,000 and 6,000 flight hours prior to the disaster.

At least two other lawsuits have been filed against Boeing in Chicago by the Lion Air victims. One was filed Dec. 24 in Cook County on behalf of the estate of Sudibyo Onggo Wardoyo, who died in the crash.

“It was like Boeing first blindfolded and then tied the hands of the pilots,” said lawyer Thomas Demetrio of Corboy & Demetrio, which is representing Mr. Wardoyo’s estate on behalf of the victim’s parents and three siblings.

A preliminary report by Indonesian investigators focused on airline maintenance and training and the response of a Boeing anti-stall system to a recently replaced sensor but did not give a cause for the crash.

One of the investigators, Nurcahyo Utomo, told reporters it was too early to determine whether or not a new version of the anti-stall system, which was not explained to pilots in manuals, was a contributing factor.

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