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Dutch surviving relative sues Boeing for crash in Ethiopia


Huguette Debets, from Rwandan origin, is suing Boeing. She thinks the aircraft manufacturer is responsible for the aircraft crash with the Boeing 737 MAX from Ethiopian Airlines last month. All 157 passengers were killed, including the ex-husband of Debets, the Rwandan Jackson Musoni. Together they have two children aged 4 and 5 years.

Debets’ ex-husband worked for the United Nations. He was with two colleagues on the way to a conference in the Kenyan capital Nairobi.

Debets wants answers that give her and the other relatives the chance to let go, she says in this video:

“It is 346 lives that children, parents, brothers, sisters and friends leave behind”

The crash happened six months after an accident with the same aircraft from Boeing, in Indonesia. All 189 passengers were killed. Both accidents happened immediately after taking off and also showed a number of similarities.

When asked what motivates her to sue Boeing, Debets (35) answers with a sum. “189 plus 157, that is 346 lives that children leave behind, parents, siblings, friends, colleagues. People who had a good life and who had potential, but even though they did nothing at all in life, they are lives. All lives matter. ”

Don’t get away with it

Aircraft manufacturer Boeing is not allowed to get away with this, says Debets. Not like the previous disaster, with a device from the Indonesian company Lion Air, more than half a year ago. Even then, questions were asked by relatives’ lawyers, but that did not lead anywhere.

The invisibility of Boeing after the second disaster last month in Ethiopia has deeply touched Debets. “Is it so easy to get away with it? It could have been resolved with the 189 (the number of victims in the Lion Air disaster, ed.), Perhaps even before that.”

Shortly after the disaster with the aircraft of Ethiopian Airlines, all 737 MAX 8 and 9 aircraft were chained. It is no longer allowed to fly with it until it is clear what went wrong. Boeing has announced a software update and apologizes. “Far too late,” says Debets.

True answers

“I can’t just say: the father of my children died on a plane because that happens, no.” She wants real answers to the important question: why is this not prevented?

Debets is so far the only one that has filed a lawsuit. She hopes people will join her, but she doesn’t count on anything. “I have already adjusted myself to the worst-case scenario: I am alone.”

She is combative and has a long breath. “For my part it can take twenty years, I have the time. I will continue until the end.”