Boeing says it's providing $100 million over several years to help families and communities affected by two crashes of its 737 MAX plane that killed 346 people. The company said Wednesday that some of the money will go toward living expenses and to cover hardship suffered by the families of dead passengers. CNN reports the funds will pass from Boeing to local groups that will disperse the funds, which will also go to fund the education of victims' children. "These lives lost will continue to weigh heavily on our hearts and on our minds for years to come," says Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg. "The families and loved ones of those on board have our deepest sympathies, and we hope this initial outreach can help bring them comfort."
Boeing faces dozens of lawsuits over the accidents, and CNBC reports this money is entirely separate from anything Boeing might be ordered to pay as a result of those suits. The company says those who accept the money still retain the right to sue. Relatives of passengers on a Lion Air MAX that crashed off the coast of Indonesia agreed to try to settle through mediation, but families of passengers killed in an Ethiopian Airlines crash are waiting until more is known about the accidents, reports the AP. Preliminary investigations point to the role played by new software that pushed the planes' noses down. Boeing is updating the software. MAX jets have been grounded worldwide since March.
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