After Ignoring Them For Months, Boeing Pledges $100 Million For Crash Victims' Families

Families of the roughly 350 passengers and crew who perished in Indonesia and Ethiopia when two Boeing 737 MAX 8s suddenly plummeted out of the sky just minutes after takeoff didn't receive so much as a condolence letter from Boeing (though we imagine this was by writ of the company's legal department).


But the callous nature in which Boeing has treated the now-litigants who have joined multiple lawsuits against the aerospace company will probably stand out as an example of how not to handle a serious PR crisis.

And what appears to be the company's first attempt to make amends for the pain it has caused probably won't help improve its image.

WSJ reports that Boeing pledged $100 million to support families and communities impacted by the crashes that led to the global grounding of the 737 MAX.

The money will cover living expenses for families, as well as unspecified "community development" and "education efforts".

In a quote accompanying the WSJ story, Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg offered his "deepest sympathies" to crash victim families and said he hopes this "initial outreach" (which comes nearly four months after the second crash occurred) can "bring them comfort."

Another Boeing executive said the money has nothing to do with settlement talks related to the litigation.

For a clearer picture of just how much value Boeing places on a human life, let's break this number down. $100 million comes out to roughly $289,000 per victim (there were 346, to be exact, including crew and passengers). Though that figure could be even smaller once these community and education initiatives are accounted for.

So, does Boeing think a human life is worth only $300,000? It certainly looks that way.