(Preston Fiedler/AP, FILE) In this photo dated November 12, 2018, the actual Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 - Max 8 plane, that crashed on March 10, 2019, shortly after take-off from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, is pictured as it lands at Seattle Boeing Field King County International airport.
Associated Press

Boeing on Wednesday said it would dedicate half of a $100 million fund it created to address two deadly crashes of its 737 MAX planes to financial relief for the families of those killed.

Its Chief Executive, Dennis Muilenburg, said the compensation expert, Ken Feinberg, is hired to oversee the distribution.

The announcement of Feinberg’s hiring came minutes before the start of a U.S. House of Representatives hearing that would feature testimony from a father, who lost three children, his wife and mother-in-law in a 737 MAX Ethiopian Air crash in March.

Feinberg said on Wednesday his team would “start immediately drafting a claims protocol for those eligible’’ with the first meeting with Boeing later this week in Washington.

Boeing said on July 3, it would give $100 million over multiple years to local governments and non-profit organisations to help families and communities affected by the crashes.

Boeing reiterated on Wednesday that the money distributed, through the fund, would be independent of the outcome of any lawsuits. The company is facing a slew of litigation from the families of victims of both crashes.

“Through our partnership with Feinberg and Biros, we hope affected families receive needed assistance as quickly and efficiently as possible,’’ Muilenburg said in a statement, referring to Camille Biros, a lawyer also hired to design and administer the funds. Boeing’s initial announcement of the $100 million was met with anger by some victims’ families, who described the offer as a publicity stunt.

It remains unclear, who will qualify for the aid and when the funds will be distributed.

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