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Family of Exmouth woman killed in Boeing 737 air crash in Ethiopia begin legal action

United Nations worker Joanna Toole was among those killed when Flight 302 came down in Ethiopia. Credit: Family

The father of a woman from Exmouth who was killed in the Ethiopian air crash in March 2019 has begun legal action against Boeing and a sensor manufacturer.

Joanna Toole was a United Nations wildlife and marine campaigner and was heading to give a speech at a UN climate change conference. The 36-year-old was one of 157 passengers and crew killed when Flight 302 came down shortly after take off.

It was the second accident involving the Boeing 737 Max within five months. The exact cause of the crash is unknown but the entire fleet of the aircraft is still grounded.

Boeing says it has now set aside $100M to support the families and community of those affected by the two accidents.

These lives lost will continue to weigh heavily on our hearts and on our minds for years to come. The families and loved ones of those on board have our deepest sympathies, and we hope this initial outreach can help bring them comfort.

Everyone who steps aboard one of our airplanes places their trust in us. We are focused on re-earning that trust and confidence from our customers and the flying public in the months ahead.

– Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing Chairman, President and CEO
Remains of the crashed Boeing 737 Max in Ethiopia. Credit: ITV News

Joanna's family have instructed lawyers to proceed against Boeing and sensor manufacturer Rosemount Aerospace.

Nothing I can do will ever bring Joanna back but in the circumstances this is what we have to do. We have to take this legal action and we have to pursue them in the interests of justice. Those 157 people should by all rights still be fine today and the thousands of us, the family members, who are grieving and have to cope with this for the rest of our lives - we shouldn't be in this position.

– Adrian Toole, Joanna's father

Mr Toole hopes, in time, to set up a memorial to Joanna in Exmouth. He says that any compensation from the court case will go towards the creation of the Joanna Toole Foundation, which will continue her mission for better animal welfare.

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