Wife of Irishman killed in plane crash begins legal battle to take on Boeing 

Wife of Irishman killed in plane crash begins legal battle to take on Boeing 

Naoise Ryan with a photo of her late husband Mick. Picture: Jonathan Tyner

An Irish woman whose husband was among the 346 victims of two plane crashes has met with the US attorney general to challenge a deal made by the Trump administration with Boeing that effectively gave the airline immunity from criminal prosecution. 

Naoise Ryan, who lost her husband Mick in one of the crashes, was among the relatives of victims who met with Merrick Garland to discuss concerns they had with a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) with Boeing.

The families have filed a motion that alleges the US government “violated their rights” through a “secret process” that led to Boeing receiving a favourable DPA.

They are now seeking remedies that include rescinding the provision that allowed Boeing to receive immunity from criminal prosecution.

“Attorney general Garland agreeing to meet with us, we hope, is a signal that the department is taking our concerns seriously,” said Ms Ryan.

“The agreement reached under the last administration is completely inadequate, and we would have relayed this to the department if we were given the right to confer with them — as required by US law — about the crimes associated with the crash. 

We will continue to fight for real justice to ensure Boeing is held fully accountable,” she added.

It has been nearly three years since Naoise’s husband, Mick, was killed when Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 crashed soon after taking off, killing all 157 people on board. 

Mick, a native of Co Clare, was deputy chief engineer with the UN’s World Food Programme.

The incident was the second major crash involving a Max aircraft in five months. 

The previous crash, in which all 189 passengers and crew were killed, occurred in October of 2018. 

The Lion Air Flight 610 crashed into the Java Sea off Indonesia 13 minutes after takeoff.

However, a DPA, a form of a corporate plea bargain, was reached between the US department of justice, under the Trump administration, and Boeing which allowed Boeing to avoid prosecution. 

It included a fine of $243.6m (€216.6m), compensation to airlines of $1.77bn, and a $500m crash-victim fund.

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