Russian company is first to sue Boeing to cancel 737 Max order and claim damages
A Russian aircraft leasing company has filed the first U.S. lawsuit to cancel an order for Boeing 737 Max jets. Avia Capital Services (ACS), a subsidiary of state-owned Russian conglomerate Rostec, filed the suit against the U.S. aerospace giant in Chicago, claiming Boeing "intentionally" failed to disclose information about the airworthiness of the Max jets to its customers.
ACS accuses Boeing of negligence in selling the "defective" aircraft. ACS is seeking $115 million in compensatory damages to cancel the order for 35 jets, and several times that amount in punitive damages, according to the complaint filed with the Cook County Circuit Court.
Boeing's 737 Max was grounded indefinitely after two crashes killed a total of 346 people, one involving Indonesia's Lion Air and the other involving an Ethiopian Airlines jet.
Boeing has developed a software upgrade to the 737 Max after problems with a flight handling system were tied to the crashes.
But the jet — the company's best-selling aircraft — has still not been cleared by regulators for liftoff.
Boeing reported a loss of $2.9 billion for the second quarter of this year, its biggest loss ever as the 737 Max crisis dragged on.
That was in large part a result of a $4.9 billion charge taken by the company as it negotiates compensation deals with customers.
As CBS News correspondent Kris Van Cleave reported last month, if the 737 Max doesn't take back to the skies by the end of the year, the continued grounding could force Boeing to further slow, or even halt production. Such a move by the nation's largest exporter could send a ripple through the U.S. economy.
But CEO Dennis Muilenburg has raised the possibility the Max could be re-approved for passenger service by October. "It's our job to make sure that they're safe and we've learned from these two accidents," he said.
In May, Muilenburg spoke to "CBS Evening News" anchor Norah O'Donnell. "We know it will take some time to earn and re-earn that public confidence, and the first step will be to get the Max up and flying safely," he said.
Boeing is facing a growing list of lawsuits in the U.S., the latest filed July by the family of Army Captain Antoine Lewis, killed in the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crash. They called on American, Southwest and United Airlines to drop the 737 Max from their fleets.
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