Micheál Ryan was killed after his Ethiopian Airlines flight crashed on March 10, 2019
Boeing should be held criminally accountable after their Max 737 disasters, says Christine Ryan, whose son Micheál Ryan was killed during the Ethiopian Airlines crash in March 2019.
Micheál Ryan was among 157 casualties in the Ethiopian Airlines crash on March 10, 2019, which came within six months of a separate Lion Air plane crash that killed 189 people. Shortly after the Ethiopian Airlines disaster, the fleet of Boeing 737 Max planes was grounded worldwide.
39-year-old Micheál, a married father of two, was aboard the Boeing 737 Max operated by Ethiopian Airlines when it crashed shortly after taking off from Addis Adaba. Ryan, an engineer with the United Nations’ World Food Programme, was en route to Nairobi, Kenya for work. His remains were not recovered and repatriated to Ireland until seven months after the disaster.
Christine Ryan is now demanding that Boeing be held criminally accountable for the more than 340 deaths in the Boeing plane crashes.
Speaking with The Irish Times, Ryan said: “It was corporate greed. We know that the US Federal Aviation Administration had told Boeing that within the lifetime of those planes, there would be 14 crashes.
“That came out in a hearing in America. They had been warned but still, they didn’t stop.
“I don’t think it will be any consolation but I’d like to see justice done,” Ryan said.
“It’s not a question of money. They are a multi-million dollar organization. Money doesn’t matter to them. We would prefer if people were found culpable. They need to be held accountable for killing all of those people.
“Nothing is going to bring them back but if people were held accountable for what is really a criminal offense rather than a civil offense, that might give us some bit of peace.”
In June 2019, Bloomberg reported on what possible legal action Boeing could face in the wake of the two disasters: “Claims have been filed by families of crash victims. Bloomberg Intelligence estimates Boeing’s litigation risks in the U.S. could amount to $1 billion.
“Boeing offered $100 million over several years as an “initial outreach” to support the families of victims and others affected and hired high-profile mediator Kenneth Feinberg to distribute it.
“On other legal fronts, the U.S. Justice Department expanded its probe to include a look into manufacturing of another Boeing aircraft -- the 787 Dreamliner -- at a new plant in South Carolina. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating whether Boeing properly disclosed issues tied to the 737 Max jetliners to investors. And Boeing faces proposed class-action lawsuits by pilots.”
Ryan says she and her family are still grieving Michael’s death: “We’re not doing good. None of us are doing good. We haven’t dealt with this very well. None of us have gone for counselling or anything like that but we probably should.
“He is such a huge loss to his wife and his kids. To all of us. It’s so unfair. It shouldn’t have happened. He was a humanitarian, he helped people, he looked out for people,” she said.
“We will never get over it, I don’t even know will we get through it. People say it will get easier as time goes on. As far as I’m concerned, it’s getting harder. I depended on him so much.”