Pius Adesanmi’s mother, daughter sue Boeing over Ethiopian Airlines crash

Pius Adesanmi
Pius Adesanmi

Family members of the late Nigerian writer killed in the tragic Ethiopian Airlines crash, Pius Adesanmi, have filed a new lawsuit against the Boeing Company.

Lawyers Nomaan Husain of Husain Law + Associates, Floyd Wisner of The Wisner Law Firm, and Omar Khawaja of The Law Offices of Omar Khawaja, filed the new lawsuit against the manufacturers of the plane involved in the crash..

The suit, dated June 4th and seen by PREMIUM TIMES, was filed on behalf of the bereaved family at the U.S. District Court in Chicago.

The claim was filed against the Boeing Company, manufacturer of the Boeing 737 Max 8, based in Chicago, for failing to properly inform pilots about the dangers and risks presented by its new Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (“MCAS”) software.

Tragic death

Mr Adesanmi, a professor, was killed in the tragic crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 on March 10.

He was a world-renowned Nigerian-born Canadian professor, writer, literary critic, satirist, columnist and author of numerous award-winning books, essays, and collections of poetry.

He was lauded as a “towering figure in African and post-colonial scholarship” by Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, where he chaired the Institute for African Studies.

He was traveling from Addis Ababa to Nairobi for an African Union conference when the flight crashed shortly after takeoff.

Lawsuit

Detail of the new complaint seen by this newspaper reads in part: “This action arises from the horrific crash of ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES Flight 302 (“Flight 302”) on March 10, 2019 in which 157 people lost their lives. The aircraft involved in Flight 302 was a Boeing 737 MAX 8. This crash came less than five months after Lion Air Flight JT 610 – another Boeing 737 MAX 8 – crashed into the Java Sea on October 29, 2018, killing all 189 onboard.

“Investigation into both crashes is ongoing, but the similarities in the aircraft and the investigative findings for the crashes thus far points to a common cause. Shortly after taking off and while attempting to climb, pilots for both aircraft reported flight control issues as the planes pitched up and down erratically throughout the sky.”

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The suit listed the plaintiffs as Lois Olufunke Adesanmi, mother of the late writer, and Iyabo Toluhi, named on behalf of the daughter of the late renown writer, who is a minor. The defendant is THE BOEING COMPANY, a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in the State of Illinois.

“Once again corporate greed has placed profits over safety with tragic consequences for the public,” said Mr Husain, founder and senior partner at Husain Law + Associates, PC. “Our goal with these lawsuits is to obtain answers for our grieving clients and hold the Boeing Company accountable for creating this tragedy.”

Mr Wisner, from the Wisner Law Firm, stated, “In my decades of representing families of the victims of air crashes, I have never seen a case with such serious misconduct by an aircraft manufacturer.”

The complaint further alleges that Boeing’s failure to properly inform pilots of a defect in the MAX 8’s flight control system left pilots without the knowledge or ability to restore manual control and caused both Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashes.

It added that Boeing included a new automated flight-control system in the MAX aircraft, the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) to address the risk of a stall. “However, as BOEING’s CEO has acknowledged MCAS contributed to both the Lion Air and Ethiopian Air crashed,” the suit claimed.

The suit also alleged that Boeing knew MCAS was defective and dangerously flawed, adding that the company ignored safety in its pursuit of profit.

Messrs Husain, Wisner and Khawaja said they are confident the US legal system and the US discovery process will allow families to get the answers they are seeking and sort out what really happened.

Emotional moments

A colleague and friend of the late writer, Bamidele Ademola-Olateju, said Mr Adesanmi’s demise created a gaping hole in Nigeria’s public intellection and Africa’s Higher Education and Youth Development. In a message sent to this newspaper, Mrs Ademola-Olateju, a member of the Premium Times editorial board, columnist and social critic, described the late writer’s death as a huge loss.

She said: “I took the first step to seek Justice for you my dear friend Pius Adebola Adesanmi. Boeing, the manufacturer of the aircraft that crashed leading to your untimely death has been sued by the competent Law Firms listed in this Press Release.

“Nigeria miss you and Africa miss you. Your death has left me totally bewildered and permanently scared. Your demise created a gaping hole in Nigeria’s public Intellection and Africa’s Higher Education and Youth Development. With mounting insecurity and economic despondency, everyone kept wondering what would Pius have written under these circumstances.

“It has been difficult facing the situations you left behind and my heart breaks each time I speak to your mum and sister. She’s shattered beyond words. Her worst fear of losing her only son became real. I try to brave it but every mention of you feels like picking the scab off a bad wound.

“Flying has become torturous and traumatic with each turbulence offering me a glimpse of the hell you experienced in your last moments. Nothing can bring you back to us but I have taken this first step for JUSTICE on behalf of Lois Olufunke Adesanmi and Oluwadamilare Monica Adesanmi.”

Similarly, the late Mr Adesanmi’s mother, Olufunke The bereaved mother, according to a release sent to this newspaper, also demanded justice and accountability over the late professor’s death.

“Everyday my heart bleeds over the loss of Bola,” she said. “Every day, I play his life from infancy to his death in my mind. Most importantly, I think about how I dedicated him to God at the Catholic Cathedral at Egbe at the age of 12, in the tradition of how Jesus was dedicated. I continue to pray for the repose of his soul. My life has been a recurring nightmare.”

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