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UPDATE 1-Boeing has settled more than half of Lion Air crash lawsuits -lawyer

Tracy Rucinski

(Adds background on crash and lawsuits, comments by lawyers)

CHICAGO, Nov 21 (Reuters) - Boeing Co has settled more than half of some 118 cases related to the fatal crash of a Lion Air flight on a 737 MAX aircraft in October 2018, attorney Dan Webb said at a court hearing on Thursday.

Webb, a former U.S. attorney and veteran litigator, recently joined Boeing's legal team to defend the company in cases related to the Lion Air crash in Indonesia that killed all 189 on board and another deadly 737 MAX crash on a flight operated by Ethiopian Airlines five months later.

Webb said 63 or 64 of the Lion Air cases had settled or were close to settlement.

The second crash, which killed all 157 on board after nose-diving soon after take-off from Addis Ababa in March, led to a global grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX and a crisis for the world's biggest planemaker.

Robert Clifford of Clifford Law Offices, which represents families of the Ethiopian crash victims, said 103 lawsuits have been filed against Boeing so far over the second crash. He said he is aware of more than 30 additional cases to be filed soon.

As of now, none of the Ethiopian Airlines lawsuits have been settled in the United States, Clifford said.

While some of the Ethiopian crash victim families are considering settlement, many are pursuing a jury trial.

Boeing is also being investigated by U.S. lawmakers, aviation and transportation authorities and is the target of a federal criminal probe.

It is also the target of lawsuits by shareholders over the drop in the stock price and by pilots over lost pay while the 737 MAX remains grounded.

Boeing has been working on fixes to software believed to have played a role in both crashes and on updated pilot training aimed at winning regulatory approval for the 737 MAX to fly again.

In its final report into the Oct. 29, 2018, Lion Air crash Indonesia made recommendations to Boeing, the airline, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and other agencies. (Reporting by Tracy Rucinski in Chicago Writing by Tom Hals in Wilmington, Del. Editing by Matthew Lewis)