Boeing Pleads Not Guilty In US Court To Criminal Liability For 737 MAX Crashes – Reports
Aerospace company Boeing pleaded not guilty in a US federal court to criminal responsibility for two 737 MAX crashes that killed hundreds of people in Indonesia and Ethiopia, Bloomberg reported on Thursday
WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik – 26th January, 2023) Aerospace company Boeing pleaded not guilty in a US federal court to criminal responsibility for two 737 MAX crashes that killed hundreds of people in Indonesia and Ethiopia, Bloomberg reported on Thursday.
The 2018 crash in Indonesia killed all 189 passengers and crew members. The crash in Ethiopia several months later also killed all 157 people aboard the plane. Use of Boeing 737 MAX planes was suspended worldwide following the crashes.
Boeing claims that malfunctions in the planes' maneuverability enhancement systems occurred before both crashes.
In November 2021, Boeing admitted liability for compensatory damages from deaths related to the crash in Ethiopia. Boeing that same month also agreed to settle a shareholder lawsuit claiming that the company failed to monitor safety issues related to the two incidents.
However, a US Appeals Court revived an investor lawsuit against Boeing in January 2022, allowing its board to face litigation over allegations that they misled investors about the 737 MAX planes prior to the crashes.
Families of the victims are also now seeking a criminal conviction for the crashes, claiming that they were not consulted before a January 2021 deal between Boeing and the US government to avoid prosecution for fraud.
"In sum, but for Boeing's criminal conspiracy to defraud the Federal Aviation Administration, 346 people would not have lost their lives in the crashes," the victims families said in a court document filed Wednesday. "This defendant in this case thus committed the deadliest corporate crime in US history."
The victims are seeking to impose conditions of release on Boeing, like would be imposed on an individual criminal defendant: guarantees that they will commit no new crimes, cooperate with an independent corporate compliance monitor and act with transparency about their compliance efforts, the court filing said.
Boeing's not-guilty plea risks violating their immunity agreement with the US Justice Department, which requires the company admit to its role in hiding 737 MAX issues from federal regulators, the report said.
Boeing Chief Safety Officer Mike Delaney entered the plea and told the court that Boeing stands by its admission of fault while still contesting the felony charge, the report added.
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