A federal judge on Thursday ordered Boeing Co BA.N to appear in court on January 26 to face a 2021 misdemeanor charge after families of those killed in two fatal accidents objected to a 2021 plea deal.
Boeing won immunity from criminal charges as part of its $2.5 billion Ministry of Justice January 2021 deferred prosecution agreement on a 737 MAX fraud conspiracy involving the plane’s flawed design.
The families argued that the Justice Department “lied and violated their rights through a secret process,” and asked U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor to revoke Boeing’s immunity from criminal charges.
O’Connor, of the Northern District of Texas, in Fort Worth, ruled in October that people killed in two Boeing 737 MAX crashes are legally considered “crime victims.” felony charge.
Boeing and the Justice Department declined to comment.
O’Connor indicated that all legal representatives of those identified as “victims of crime” who intend to appear to be heard during the proceedings will have aand “an appropriate person appears on Boeing’s behalf” at the arraignment.
The 2018 and 2019 crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia, which cost Boeing more than $20 billion, led to a 20-month flight ban on its best-selling aircraft and prompted the US Congress to pass legislation banning aircraft certification. reformed.
Both Boeing and the Justice Department are opposed to reopening the deferred prosecution agreement, which included $500 million in victims’ damages, a $243.6 million fine and $1.7 billion in airline damages.
Families of victims of crash want Boeing 737 settlement to be reopened
TThe Justice Department said in 2021 that “misleading statements, half-truths and omissions communicated to the (Federal Aviation Administration) by Boeing employees hindered the government’s ability to ensure the safety of the flying public.”
The Ministry of Justice shelp with one court Nov filing it did not oppose a suit against Boeing, but opposes reversing the agreement, saying it would “impose severe hardship on the parties and the many victims who have received compensation”.
Boeing said in November it opposes any attempt to reopen the agreement, calling it “unprecedented, unworkable and unfair.” and noted that it complies with the agreement for almost two years.
In September, Boeing agreed to pay $200 million to settle civil suits by the Securities and Exchange Commission misled investors about the MAX.
Polish national airline PLL LOT in October asked O’Connor to declare it a victim of crime in the MAX criminal case, a move that could make the airline eligible for significant compensation.
Aviation Fraud Legislation
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