Daily Archives: May 4, 2019

Lawsuits Filed Against Boeing on Behalf of Humanitarian Leaders in Africa In Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 Fatal 737-8 MAX Crash

Physician Carlo Spini, President of Africa Tremila, and his wife Gabriella Viciani, were killed en route to a mission in Kenya to administer healthcare programs  

NEW YORK, May 4, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Two federal wrongful death lawsuits were filed on May 2 in Chicago, IL by the law firm Kreindler & Kreindler LLP, along with co-counsel Power Rogers & Smith LLP, on behalf of the family of Carlo Spini and his wife Gabriella Viciani, of the Arezzo Province of Italy, who were killed in the crash of the Boeing 737-8 MAX, operated as Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 on March 10, 2019 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The defendants in the case are Chicago-based Boeing Company and Rosemount Aerospace, Inc. of Minnesota. The lawsuits were filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

Spini and Viciani with missionaries in Africa (PRNewsfoto/Kreindler & Kreindler LLP)

The lawsuits make a damning case against Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration’s failures that caused the crash, including allegations not found in prior lawsuits that Boeing failed to activate an important safety feature in the airplane and that Boeing failed to have its MCAS consider flight variables, such as the airplane’s airspeed and altitude, before triggering and pushing the airplane’s nose down toward the ground.

The victims had been engaged in humanitarian missions in Africa, where they established and oversaw hospitals, medical clinics and orphanages for the local populations, including young orphaned children whose parents succumbed to AIDS and other fatal illnesses. Spini, a physician, and Viciani, a nurse, had been traveling to Africa since 2002, when they established a program for the prevention of AIDS/HIV transmission, and treatment of other diseases, in Malawi. Successive projects in the following 16 years until their deaths included the creation and oversight of 11 hospitals and healthcare clinics in Kenya, Malawi, Eritrea, South Sudan, Madagascar and other countries in need.  At the time of his death, Spini was President of Africa Tremila, a non-profit based in Bergamo, Italy, which establishes and oversees humanitarian programs in developing countries. Spini and Viciani were on board ET 302 en route to an Africa Tremila project in Kenya. In addition to their four children, Spini and Viciani are survived by eight grandchildren.

“Our parents committed themselves to the welfare of others.  We are saddened by the loss of our parents, but above all, we are angry at Boeing for depriving our family, friends and the many needy people in Africa, of these two, special people.  They lived and worked together for over 50 years, providing care in hospitals and on missions, committed to the welfare of others,” said Andrea Spini, their eldest son.

Carlo Spini working with children in Africa (PRNewsfoto/Kreindler & Kreindler LLP)

Justin Green, a Kreindler & Kreindler LLP partner and a military-trained pilot, said, “Boeing made inexcusable errors in its programming of its Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS).  The most important, and one that has not yet been addressed, is that MCAS does not consider the airplane’s proximity to the ground when making its decision to push the nose down and that Boeing failed to introduce a ground proximity avoidance system for the airplane.  Boeing designed the MCAS so that it did not even consider the accurate data supplied by the airplane’s second angle of attack sensor and that it would not reject completely implausible data supplied by the failed sensor that indicated that the airplane was over 74 degrees nose high. Boeing’s MCAS design permitted a single point failure of an AOA sensor to cause two aviation disasters and is perhaps the worst design in the history of modern commercial aviation.”

“We are seeking punitive damages because strong public policy in Illinois supports holding Boeing accountable for its intentional and grossly negligent conduct, in particular its refusal, even today, to admit that the grounded Boeing 737-8 MAX had any safety problems even while the plane is grounded and Boeing is being forced to finally fix the problem that has caused two aviation disasters in the short life of the airplane,” said Todd Smith, partner at Power Rogers & Smith L.L.P.

The complaint filed today on behalf of the victims’ family summarizes their claims, in part, as follows:

“Boeing put its financial interests ahead of the safety of passengers and flight crews when it rushed the design, manufacture and certification of the Boeing 737-8 MAX, and when it misrepresented to the public, the FAA, and Boeing’s customers that the airplane was safe to fly, which Boeing shockingly continued to do even after the crash of ET302.”

“Boeing intentionally hid from its customers, including Ethiopian Airlines, that the Boeing 737-8 MAX had an aerodynamic handling defect and that it had installed MCAS in its 737-MAX airplanes to address the defect.”

“Boeing obtained FAA certification for the Boeing 737-8 MAX by intentionally, recklessly and/or negligently underestimating the odds that MCAS would erroneously force the airplane’s nose down and by overestimating the ability of pilots without MCAS training to respond to MCAS-created handling emergencies.”

“Boeing represented to the FAA that MCAS was a benign computer code programmed in the airplane’s Flight Control Computer that would cause Boeing 737-8 MAX to ‘feel’ to its pilots like it handled the same as the Boeing 737NG; to the contrary, MCAS was a deadly defective feature.”

Anthony Tarricone, also a partner of the Kreindler firm, said, “The case will focus, in part, on the intertwined relationship between the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Boeing, which allows Boeing engineers to act as designated FAA safety inspectors during the certification process.  That the 737-8 MAX was certified as safe without the MCAS and its failure modes being subjected to rigorous testing and analysis illustrates that the FAA has been captured by the industry it is supposed to regulate. Industry lobbying focused on elevating corporate profits over passenger safety does not promote certification of safe airplanes.”

Note to editors:  A copy of the complaints are accessible at:

View and download Filing – Carlo Spini

https://www.kreindler.com/Recent-Developments/Spini-Carlo-Complaint-19cv2971.pdf

View Filing – Gabriella Viciani

https://www.kreindler.com/Recent-Developments/Spini-Viciani-Complaint-19cv2969.pdf

About Kreindler & Kreindler LLP

Kreindler & Kreindler LLP attorneys have served as lead counsel in nearly every major commercial aviation disaster litigation over the last six decades, including the last major case in the United States against Boeing, the 2013 crash of Asiana Airlines Flight 214 in San Francisco, CA, as well as the still-missing Malaysia Airlines MH370, Turkish Airlines Flight 1951 crash of a Boeing 737, TWA 800, Kenya Airways Flight 507 Boeing 737 crash in Cameroon, Continental Airlines Flight 3407 in Buffalo, EgyptAir 990, Swissair Flight 111, Korean Airlines 801, Silk Air MI 185, China Airlines, CI 611, Singapore Airlines SQ 006, and many others. The Kreindler firm has recorded the largest recovery for a single disaster in the history of aviation to date — nearly $3 billion — against Libya and Pan Am in lawsuits arising out of the bombing of Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. http://www.kreindler.com

For more information on Kreindler attorneys:

Justin Green  Justin-Green-Bio-March-2019

Anthony Tarricone  Anthony-Tarricone-Bio-2019

Brian Alexander Brian-Alexander-Bio-2019

Dan Rose Dan-Rose-Bio-March-2019

Marc Moller  Marc-Moller-Bio-2019

About Powers Rogers & Smith L.L.P.

Power Rogers & Smith L.L.P. is a highly regarded Chicago Trial Law Firm specializing in Civil Trial law and specifically in the areas of Product Liability and Aviation product defect matters as well as complex matters involving catastrophic injury and wrongful death.  The firm was founded and has been led by some of the nation’s most highly acclaimed and respected trial lawyers.  The firm’s award-winning legal team has recovered over $4 billion in verdicts and settlements for clients—more than $800 million more than its closest competitor since 2000.  Todd Smith, a founding partner of Power Rogers & Smith L.L.P., served as President of the American Association for Justice (AAJ) — the largest association of trial lawyers in the world– and chaired the AAJ Aviation Section.  The firm has been named the “No. 1 Plaintiffs Law Firm” in most compensation obtained for clients by Chicago Lawyer’s Annual Settlement Survey nine years in a row.  More information about the firm and its lawyers can be found at http://www.prslaw.com.

For more information on PRS attorneys:

Todd Smith https://www.prslaw.com/our-attorneys/todd-a-smith/

Brian LaCien:   https://www.prslaw.com/our-attorneys/brian-lacien/

Photo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/881820/Spini_and_Viciani_with_missionaries_in_Africa.jpg
Photo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/881821/Carlo_Spini_with_children_in_Africa.jpg
Logo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/881840/Kreindler_Logo.jpg

News: Provincial suspects raid nets close to 300 suspects

POTCHEFSTROOM – Detectives in the province arrested 283 suspects for various offences during suspect raiding between Tuesday, 30 April and Wednesday, 1 May 2019.

The suspects included 108 held for Assault with intent to do Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH) and assault common. The other arrests included 16 for common robbery, seven for rape, 20 for malicious damage to property, nine for contravention of protection order, 52 for burglary and 16 for theft. Out of the 283 arrests, 26 were for crimes against women and children.

The suspects were arrested at all seven poling clusters in the province of which 80 arrests was from the Klerksdorp Cluster and 78 in the Rustenburg Cluster. Most of them have appeared at various courts within the province on Friday, 3 May 2019.

The North West Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Baile Motswenyane commended detectives for the arrests. She said that they will definitely send a clear message to perpetrators, that they have no place to hide and that the long arm of the law will ensure that they are brought to book.

Source: South African Police Service

News: Provincial suspects raid nets close to 300 suspects

POTCHEFSTROOM – Detectives in the province arrested 283 suspects for various offences during suspect raiding between Tuesday, 30 April and Wednesday, 1 May 2019.

The suspects included 108 held for Assault with intent to do Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH) and assault common. The other arrests included 16 for common robbery, seven for rape, 20 for malicious damage to property, nine for contravention of protection order, 52 for burglary and 16 for theft. Out of the 283 arrests, 26 were for crimes against women and children.

The suspects were arrested at all seven poling clusters in the province of which 80 arrests was from the Klerksdorp Cluster and 78 in the Rustenburg Cluster. Most of them have appeared at various courts within the province on Friday, 3 May 2019.

The North West Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Baile Motswenyane commended detectives for the arrests. She said that they will definitely send a clear message to perpetrators, that they have no place to hide and that the long arm of the law will ensure that they are brought to book.

Source: South African Police Service

President Cyril Ramaphosa: Africa’s Travel Indaba

Address by President Cyril Ramaphosa at the Africa Travel Indaba, Chief Albert Luthuli ICC, Ethekwini

Minister of Tourism, Mr Derek Hanekom,

Deputy Minister of Tourism, Ms Elizabeth Thabethe,

Honourable Ministers of Tourism from other countries,

Acting Premier of KwaZulu-Natal and our host, Mr Sihle Zikalala,

Executive Mayor of the Ethekwini Metropolitan Municipality, Ms Zandile Gumede,

Chairperson of the Board of South African Tourism, Ms Pam Yako and other board members,

Exhibitors, buyers and members of the media,

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

On behalf of the government and the people of South Africa, I thank you for coming to our beautiful country and to the city of Durban.

As the global citizens that we all are, we are physically separated by borders whichever part of the world we come from. We are however united by our affinity and our love for this great continent Africa, the cradle of humankind.

It is Africa’s status as the Mother Continent, as home to some of the oldest hominid fossils and some of the world’s most unique biodiversity, that makes this continent a prime tourist destination.

We have majestic mountains and smiling hills; pristine beaches; and abundant fauna and flora, some of which are found here and nowhere else on earth.

We have world-class national parks that are at the forefront of the conservation of rare and endangered species.

Africa has vast expanses of majestic scenery, from Erg Chebbi in the ancient Sahara desert, to the mountain highlands of Virunga, to the savannah grasslands of the Masai-Mara, to the place at the Southern tip of our continent where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet.

A hundred and thirty five World Heritage Sites are in Africa, from Aksum in Ethiopia to the city of Timbuktu in Mali to the Great Zimbabwe.

Visitors to the many countries on our continent are able to engage in a range of sporting, recreational and leisure activities.

We tend to think of tourism as being associated with pleasure motives such as visiting iconic sites and getting involved in recreational activities, but it can also embrace business, education, health or religion as a basis for travelling.

Tourism, as your host, Minister Hanekom aptly put it during his opening address, is the New Gold.

It is a sector that is thriving and that has tremendous potential for further growth and for the creation of jobs.

There is growing global consensus on the need for countries to pursue paths of sustainable development, to grow and transform our respective economies while minimising our impact on nature.

African countries are taking the lead in sustainable tourism and eco-tourism.

We need to expand tourism in our countries, to contribute to economic growth, to increase our foreign earnings, to bring more people into the mainstream of our economies, and to boost related industries.

Tourism is one of the most international of industries for it is an industry that tends to showcase a country’s identity and offering to the world.

Tourism has an extensive value chain, stimulating economic activity in manufacturing, in the services sector and in the creative and cultural industries.

Most importantly, tourism holds great promise for the development of small businesses in our countries.

It is when you stay in small bed and breakfast establishments or small hotels, that you get to interact with the locals, listen to their stories about the area, and get advice on the best, least-known places to go on site seeing trips.

The influx of visitors means more people get employment as tour guides, as drivers, as caterers and as producers of memorable artefacts to name but just a few.

Local people are able to show off the attractions with pride for their history, their culture and traditions.

As part of our efforts to revitalise our economy, South Africa is focusing our energies on labour-intensive sectors such as agriculture, the oceans economy and tourism.

We have set ourselves a bold target to raise over $100 billion in new investment over five years.

Tourism plays a critical role in that strategy.

In South Africa, the annual growth rate of tourism is currently exceeding the goals in our national tourism strategy and it is expected to grow even further.

We are however acutely aware that we face competition from other tourism destinations around the globe.This is so because modern tourist is discerning.

They are spoiled for choice when it comes to where they choose to take themselves and their families, and spend their money.

We live in the age of AirBnB, of CityMapper, of SkyScanner and of TripAdvisor.

It is an age where the end-to-end travel experience has been optimised through technology � where decisions on where to go and where to stay, and where not to go and where not to stay, are made on the basis of peer review.

This means that we have to marshal all the means at our disposal to show that we have what it takes to be that destination and to offer that experience that tourists want.

To do so, we must address and overcome a number of challenges. I just want to mention ten issues we need to give attention to.

Firstly we must reduce the onerous and often unnecessary bureaucratic red tape that tourists who want to visit our countries face.

This requires of us to streamline our tourist visa regimes.

As South Africa, we are committed to working towards the African Union’s goal of visa free travel and a single African air transport market.

We are in the process of radically overhauling our visa dispensation for the rest of the world and introducing a world class e-visa system.

Secondly we must deal with crime and counter the perception that Africa is an unsafe tourism destination.

This means we have to devote more resources to tackling acts of criminality, particularly crimes against tourists.

Initiatives like the Kenya Tourism Federation Safety and Communication Centre, the Tourism Police in Uganda and our own tourism safety monitors in South Africa are examples of measures that can be undertaken.

Thirdly we must be vigorous in promoting domestic tourism and get the citizens of our countries to travel and see the beauty of their own countries.

Fourthly as governments we need to actively seek out private sector partners for the establishment of new tourism products and offerings. To do this, we must forge stronger public-private partnerships.

Fifthly tourism must be seen as each country’s combined national effort where we must enhance Inter-governmental cooperation between different departments and agencies. This will be key to ensuring that we meet our goals.

Sixthly modern tourism requires organisational systems and the provision of a supporting infrastructure of facilities and personnel able to run the tourism business. This means that we should develop and upgrade our energy generation, clean water reticulation, roads, bridges, hotels, hospitals, telecommunication, our game parks and many other facilities. We must also pay attention to

Seventhly we need to consciously empower the youth and women by giving them pathways to participate effectively in the tourism industry as owners and managers of various offerings and businesses. This industry must be positioned as a key empowering sector of the economy whose power we should unleash and use to change the lives of people in our urban and rural areas.

Eighthly we need to be united in our aspiration to build and brand Africa as a continent of success and a continent that will shine as a tourist destination for the world and for our own people.

The ninth thing we should do is to embrace technology in the era of the fourth industrial revolution. Artificial intelligence, blockchain and the internet of things requires that our tourism offerings must be well aligned with enveloping technologies. In a few years to come a tourist will land at our airports and have a self driven car taking them to pre programmed tourist destinations. We might soon have to design tourism offerings for robots. Let’s get ready for the brave new world that is coming

The tenth thing is that we should be open to

international benchmarks that we should use to drive-up the standards, competitiveness and the quality of our domestic tourism industry.

Ladies and gentlemen we are here because we want to position our respective countries and our continent at the forefront of progress, technological advance and innovation in the tourism sector.

We are here because we want to double, triple and quadruple the number of visitors we receive in our countries every year.

We also want to boost domestic tourism, for we often lose sight of the imperative of getting our own citizens to explore what their countries have to offer.

We share a common goal, to offer a unique, one-of-a-kind and unforgettable consumer and business travel experience.

South Africa is proud to host this Indaba in the year that we mark 25 years since we attained our freedom.

Our liberation opened our ports of entry � and more importantly, our hearts and homes � to visitors and investors from all over the world.

This Indaba, with all that it offers, is a testimony to the fact that Africa is a continent of innovation with a strong focus on the future.

We are a continent that is open and welcoming.

When it comes to tourism and many other areas of human endeavour we are a continent on the move.

Let’s go and build a brave new world that will attract the world to come back home to Africa.

I thank you.

Source: Government of South Africa