The families of Canadians killed in the Ethiopian Airlines crash last month launched a collection of lawsuits against Boeing on Monday, alleging the plane manufacturer put profits over safety when it rushed a new aircraft model to market.
All 157 people on board were killed when the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft en route from Addis Ababa to Nairobi crashed on March 10. Eighteen of the victims were Canadian citizens, although several others were foreign nationals living in Canada.
Lawyers in Chicago filed Monday’s suits in the U.S. on behalf of a Brampton, Ont., family that lost six members and a man who lost his Hamilton-based wife and three young children.
“Blinded by its greed, Boeing haphazardly rushed the 737 Max 8 to market, with the knowledge and tacit approval of the United States Federal Aviation Administration while Boeing actively concealed the nature of the automated system defects,” the unproven claims alleged.
“Numerous decisions by Boeing’s leadership substantially contributed to the subject crash and demonstrate Boeing’s conscious disregard for the lives of others.”
Boeing said it could not comment on the lawsuits.
“We offer our deepest sympathies to the families and loved ones of those onboard Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302,” spokesman Paul R. Bergman said in a statement. “Boeing continues to support the investigation, and is working with the authorities to evaluate new information as it becomes available.”
Manant Vaidya, a Brampton man who lost his parents, sister, brother-in-law and two nieces, said his family had been travelling to Kenya for a safari vacation that they had spent years saving for. He said he was taking legal action to get answers.
“They all died together due to the insensitivity and greed of the maker of the plane,” Vaidya told a news conference in Chicago. “We still cry when we think of the horror of their last moments.”
They all died together due to the insensitivity and greed of the maker of the plane. We still cry when we think of the horror of their last moments.Manant Vaidya
Paul Njoroge, who lost his entire immediate family, was also part of the legal action. His wife Carolyne Karanja, seven-year old son Ryan, four-year-old daughter Kelly and nine-month old daughter Rubi died in the crash. Rubi was the only Canadian citizen in the family while Karanja had applied to be a permanent resident.
“I’m left with nothing,” said a teary Njoroge, who also lost his mother-in-law Ann Karanja. The family was travelling to Kenya to visit the children’s grandfather.
The suits alleged the pilots of the Ethiopian Airlines plane dealt with the same problems that occurred on a deadly Lion Air flight with the same type of aircraft that crashed into the Java Sea on Oct. 29, 2018 and killed all 189 on board.
“The flight paths and data released thus far for both aircraft show that the pilots were engaged in a terrifying tug-of-war with the plane’s automated systems as the pilots manually tried to climb while the computer system repeatedly caused the plane to dive with increasing nose-down trim against the pilot inputs,” the suits claimed.
The pilots lost their fights against Boeing’s flight computer, the suits allege.
The suits allege Boeing leadership was worried about losing market share to its main rival, Airbus, so it sought to push forward a modified version of the 737 airplanes. The modifications, rather than an entirely new design, allowed pilots to operate the 737 Max 8s “without extensive simulation time or retraining,” the claims said.
However, the suits allege, the goal of a more fuel-efficient plane included larger engines that had to be relocated, which then forced the landing gear to be moved forward. Pilots operating the older 737s found the Max 8s “would ascend faster and at a higher angle, increasing the risk of a stall,” the suits claim.
To deal with the issue, the company installed a new automated flight control system that would help compensate for the issue of climbing too fast, the suits said. The system based its information on a single sensor on the fuselage that would detect the angle of the plane, they said.
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The system was designed to run in the background and compensate accordingly. The suits allege pilots weren’t informed of the existence of the new flight control system, nor was any information about it included in the manual given to pilots.
“Pilots would only learn indirectly about the (automated flight control system) when the plane began automatically fighting their pitch commands, often at low altitudes with little time to react and resolve the issue,” the suits allege.
The two families have also filed a claim against the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, alleging the regulator enabled the plane’s rush to market.
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York Regional Police announced Monday that they charged 24 drivers with impaired-related offences over a week-span, sparking a frustrated reaction from a mother who lost her children and father in a 2015 drunk-driving crash.
York Regional Police shared aerial video footage of one of the 24 drivers who were taken into custody. The driver, police said, was involved a two-vehicle collision near Elgin Mills Road, west of ninth Line in Whitchurch-Stouffville around 2 a.m. on April 28.
When officers arrived at the scene of the crash, police said they found one of the vehicles in a ditch on the side of the road.
The video footage released by police shows the driver exiting the vehicle and grasping the car door. The driver appears in the video to struggle to stay upright.
At one point in the video, the driver lets go of the door and tries to walk, but he stumbles and an officer has to help him return to his car.
Investigators said that the driver was placed under arrest and transported to a police station, where he blew more than two-and-a-half times the legal limit for alcohol.
After police posted the video footage on Twitter, Jennifer Neville-Lake, whose three children—Daniel, 9, Harrison, 5, and Milagros, 2—and 65-year-old father Gary Neville, were killed in a drunk driving crash, shared the post and urged drivers to stop getting into their vehicles while impaired.
“Stop it!! JUST STOP IT!! I don’t even know what to say anymore,” Neville-Lake wrote on Twitter. “I spent this past weekend honouring my dead kids and dad instead of enjoying life as their mom with them … all because of impaired drivers. Drunk driving kills. I can’t even.”
The comments came a week after Neville-Lake she visited the crash site, according to her Instagram. She said that while she was there, she noticed a number of Easter baskets, balloons and stuffed animals that were left for her children.
“Every day is a painful struggle for us and the days like today that should be a little extra joyful because they are family holidays are that much more painful for us,” she wrote. “But seeing your expressions of Love and light really do help remind us that we are not alone. So from the bottom of our heart broken hearts, thank you.”
Blair announces funding for training, education
Earlier on Monday, the federal government announced a $17 million investment to keep Ontario’s roads safe from drug-impaired drivers. The money will be used to support training, the purchase of drug-screening devices and the development of standardized data collection to analyze trends in impaired driving.
Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction Bill Blair also unveiled the next phase of the government’s “Don’t Drive High” public awareness campaign, which includes new advertisements meant to educate the public about the dangers of driving while impaired.
When asked about the 24 drivers arrested last week in York Region, Blair said that he hopes a combination of education and police enforcement will act as a deterrent.
“The problem persists. It’s why we are making these investments,” Blair said. “We are hoping that the combination of better education and a better understanding of the risks of impaired driving and the greater certainty of consequences will deter people against making those decisions.”
“As long as there is one (impaired driver), we still work to do. This is a preventable crime. We’ve still got work to do and we are never going to stop.”
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You know you’re doing pretty well in life if 1) you’re married to a real-life prince, 2) You’re about to birth royal offspring, 3) You have famous friends at the ready to dole out advice about mamahood.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s baby is due any day now. Almost every new mom and mama-to-be gets inundated with advice, and the Duchess of Sussex is no different. Well, aside from the fact that some of her baby-related advice is being given out by folks like Serena Williams, Amal Clooney and Jessica Mulroney. But NBD when you’re royalty, we suppose.
Serena Williams: ‘Don’t expect to be perfect’
The Duchess and Williams have been friends since 2014, after meeting at a charity football game. They have stayed close ever since and are pretty good ones from what we gather. So, it’s no surprise the star on and off tennis courts, who is a new-ish mom herself, wanted to weigh in.
In an interview with E! News, the tennis phenom said she thinks Meghan will be the best mom and reminded her to: “Accept mistakes and don’t expect to be perfect,” adding, “We put so much pressure on ourselves.”
“My friend is pregnant, and she was like, ‘My kid’s gonna do this,’ [and] I just looked at her like, ‘No, she’s not.’ I had all of those high expectations, and then I had what I was gonna do and [how] I was gonna recover and I was gonna be great — [but] this is a time where everything is not going to go as planned. You just got to go with the flow.”
I used to call you Meghan (and I still do) but dear Duchess of Sussex your first project “Together” a cookbook bringing women of all cultures together. I could not be more excited about it and proud of you. It’s beautiful – diversity, inclusivity, coming together in grief or joy – there is just so much love. Link in bio to learn more, and how you can get a copy!
Williams and her partner Alexis Ohanian’s adorable baby girl Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. turns two in September.
Earlier this month, the mom opened up about raising a “wild child” and motherhood on Today.
“I feel like moms are all — you know — we’re all the same people. It doesn’t matter what race you are, what colour you are, what background you’re from. I feel like we all have a connection. We just want to help each other out. So I’m really using social media in a way to help me understand my struggles with my baby.”
This busy mom told Popsugar that raising a toddler bears its challenges but she’s handling it all in stride.
“You are worn out with a toddler — at least I am; I get so worn out, but I love every second of it,” she said. “My only advice is to take a deep breath and get ready for the next day.”
And in order to manage the potential of wearing out, Williams notes the advice she got from her trainer.
“[My trainer, Mackie Shilstone] told me a baby is like a plane. When you’re in the plane, the people tell you to put on your mask first before helping the person beside you. And I realized I wasn’t putting on my mask first. I was constantly putting on her mask. It’s a hard thing to process. I’m still learning that,” reported The Undefeated.
Jessica Mulroney: ‘Don’t Be In Lululemon Every Day’
As many fans of The Duchess of Sussex know, the former actress spent a good deal of time in Toronto filming “Suits.” During her time north of the 49th, she became friends with Jessica Mulroney, fashion brand strategist and wife of TV host Ben Mulroney.
Meghan’s BFF, who’s a mom of three and a well-known stylist to notable Canadians, talked about the importance of style for new moms in Harper’s Bazaar interview published in March.
“It’s all about getting dressed in the morning. It’s not going to be a runway outfit, but making sure you do something. Don’t be in Lululemon every day,” she said.
And getting in some quality girl time also goes a long way to helping moms take care of themselves.
“To be a good mom, you have to step away from it for a minute,” she said. “Whether that’s getting out of the mom outfit or hanging out with your girlfriends — and not just your mom group friends — hanging out with other women.”
In a 2013 interview with “The Morning Show,” Mulroney advised moms to trust themselves.
“Always be prepared. But I think that the best advice that I ever got was don’t listen to other people all the time. Trust your instincts. A mother’s instinct comes in so quickly, and really just depend on your own instincts for everything. You’ll be surprised as to how much you actually know once the baby does come.”
Amal Clooney: ‘Balance Is Important’
Among the notable guests at Meghan’s star-studded baby shower was human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, who shares twins Alexander and Ella with George Clooney. She spoke about motherhood in a 2018 interview with Vogue
“Between 6 and 8 in the morning we get to have them in our bed — I don’t schedule any calls before 8. When I was nursing, it was much more complicated, because there are two. I had all manner of weird cushions and pillows and machines.”
Before having her twins, Clooney opened up about her bond with her own mother, Baria Alamuddin, a journalist, reported People.
“I think growing up my mother was definitely a role model, she was always a working woman and someone who is independent and cared about her career and cared about being independent, but also had balance,” she said in November, during a Q&A at the Texas Conference for Women, where she was the keynote speaker.
“She never lost her femininity and she believed the balance was important and that is something that stuck with me.”
Taryn Toomey: ‘Live By Example’
“I am a firm believer in balance and do my best to live by example for my girls. I am not a fan of the ‘clean plate club’ or using any sort of bribery around food. I tell them to eat until their body feels good. I let them make choices for themselves in order to teach them through experience.”
The universe Tanya Harding-ing me. Took me out at the knees. I have spent my vacation in Switzerland under a comforter in the fetal position. All was able to do was watch the snow fall and let the fire inside me burn. Those who know me know I don’t consider that just a flu. Occasionally ate the toasted bread crust Marko would bring to me. Sip some water. Lay back down. Big 16 hour sleeps. I can’t say I am mad about it. Was it ideal it happened day one of vacation, far far away from home? Actually. Yes. So thank you universe. I needed that. I needed that. Better now. Here I am in the snow smiling with my family that loved me back to my feet. #ohOk #burning #offTheOld #burnBabyBurn #aDifferentKindOfVacation #betterNow #switerland #what 🤔 #illBeBack
“I also teach them about when the world says things like ‘you’re so pretty.’ I want them to understand that while those may be true, there’s so much more to them than their external appearance. I don’t want them to grow up feeling the need for these words to make them happy. I want them to know that their worth is so much more than their beauty and to teach them about their gifts, spirit, light, kindness and empathy.
There’s little doubt that the Duchess will be a wonderful mom, especially with so many of her friends and fellow mamas rooting for her. What are some of the best parenting advice or truths you heard that stayed with you?
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