Boeing hit with another lawsuit over troubled 737 Max

An Irish company that sells and leases aircraft has filed a lawsuit seeking to cancel an order for 22 of Boeing’s 737 Max jets and collect at least $185 million in damages.

The company, Timaero, alleged in documents filed Tuesday in a US district court that Boeing had acted fraudulently in selling the troubled aircraft.

“Boeing deliberately and knowingly failed to disclose … the safety issues associated with the design of the 737 Max,” the company said.

The suit follows a similar one brought in August by Russian aircraft leasing company, Avia, which wants to cancel an order of 35 planes.

It is a fresh blow to Boeing, which earlier this week said it would temporarily halt production of the 737 Max in January.

Boeing has already set aside $5 billion to compensate airlines for the groundings. But one analyst thinks the crisis could ultimately cost the company around $14 billion.

The plane has been grounded since March following two fatal crashes that killed 346 people.

Analysts say it’s difficult to estimate when the Max might gain approval to fly again. Boeing continued building the planes since the grounding, despite being unable to deliver them to customers.

Customer damages

As of Tuesday, Boeing was supposed to have delivered four 737 Max aircraft but only two had been received, Timaero said.

This delay, caused by Boeing’s own “negligence in designing the aircraft with a defective flight control system,” had caused Timaero to lose “substantial business and revenues,” it said in the suit.

Boeing has refused to refund advance payments for the aircraft, the company said. Boeing said in response that it would not comment on “pending litigation.”

Timaero said in the suit that it’s seeking at least $185 million in damages. The company could not be reached for additional comment.

– Chris Isidore contributed reporting.