Stocksak: Passengers involved in fatal Boeing 737 MAX accidents are ‘crime victim’

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By David Shepardson

(Stocksak). -A U.S. judge ruled that two victims of a Boeing (NYSE:) 737 MAX crash were “crime victims”. This designation will help determine what remedies should be imposed.

Some relatives of crash victims claimed that the U.S. Justice Department violated them when it reached a January 2021 deferred prosecutor agreement with the planemaker for two crashes that resulted in the deaths of 346 people.

The families claimed the government “lied and violated them rights through a hidden process” and asked U.S. district Judge Reed O’Connor to cancel Boeing’s immunity from criminal charges – which was part $2.5 billion in agreement – and publicly arraign the planemaker on felony charges.

O’Connor ruled that 346 people would have survived the crashes if it weren’t for Boeing’s criminal conspiracy against the Federal Aviation Administration.

Paul Cassell, a lawyer representing the families, said that the ruling was a “tremendous victory” and “sets up a pivotal hearing where we will present proposed remedies to allow for criminal prosecution to hold Boeing completely accountable.”

Boeing did not immediately respond to our request for comment.

After the families filed a legal challenge alleging that their rights had been violated under the Crime Victims’ Right Act, Attorney General Merrick garland met with some of them, but he stood by the plea agreement, which included a $244 Million fine, $1.77 Billion compensation to airlines, $500 million for victims, and a $500 MILLION fund.

This agreement ended a 21-month investigation into design and development of 737 MAX after deadly crashes in Indonesia in 2018 and in Ethiopia in 2019.

Boeing failed to disclose to the FAA key details of MCAS, a safety system that Boeing designed to counter the MAX’s tendency to pitch up. O’Connor ruled that if Boeing hadn’t committed its crime, pilots from Ethiopia and Indonesia would have had “enough training to respond to the MCAS activation which occurred on both aircrafts.”

Boeing has been hit with more than $20B in production costs, compensation and fines. The crash caused a 20-month grounded of the most-sold plane. Congress passed legislation reforming FAA airplane certification.

Boeing asks Congress to waive the December deadline for the FAA’s certification of the MAX 7/MAX 10 planes. All planes must be equipped with modern cockpit alerting systems after that date, which is not the case for the 737 planes.

Boeing paid $200 Million to settle Securities and Exchange Commission charges of misleading investors about the MAX.

Stocksak Editorial

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