Lawsuits Against Boeing Drive Record High Airplane Product Liability Filings in 2019
(09 Mar 2020) A flurry of civil lawsuits against Boeing in the wake of its 737 MAX crashes have largely driven record high product liability filings in federal court. FY 2019 was the peak year for these filings when a total of 189 new airplane product liability lawsuits were filed, higher even than the previous record of 186 suits filed during FY 2010.

Well-documented issues with Boeing's 737 MAX airplane led to a massive growth in lawsuits against The Boeing Company in 2019, which made up 164 (87%) of cases in FY 2019. The vast majority of lawsuits—98 percent—against Boeing in FY 2019 were filed in Chicago, Illinois, where the company is headquartered.

Out of 19 other defendants besides Boeing listed in court records in FY 2019, most (75%) had just one liability lawsuit and only Continental Motors, Inc. had as many as three liability lawsuits.

In FY 2020 so far 20 out of 28—or 71 percent—of federal airplane product liability cases were filed against Boeing, which suggests that the litigation against the company will continue to drive the growth in cases in this area.

These results are based upon an analysis of case-by-case court records analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University.

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