Prosecutors Reportedly Ready to Take On Boeing

( – Aerospace manufacturer Boeing could face criminal charges after US prosecutors told the Department of Justice that the company violated a settlement linked to two deadly crashes. The two disasters involving its 737 Max planes killed 346 people. The DOJ has until July 7 to decide if it will file the recommended criminal charges against the manufacturer.

The DOJ told a Texas federal court in May 2024 that Boeing had violated a 2021 settlement, which resulted in the company agreeing to pay $2.5 billion in compensation to customers and families of crash victims. The verdict found that Boeing had neglected to design and enforce measures to prevent its operations from violating US fraud laws.

The two fatal 737 Max crashes occurred within months of each other. One flight for Indonesia’s Lion Air crashed in October 2018, and the Ethiopian Airlines flight crashed in March 2019. The Foundation for Aviation Safety’s executive director Ed Pierson, who worked as a senior manager at Boeing, said they were seeing problems with the 737 Max and 787 planes that reflected poor leadership of the company.

The company has experienced a series of embarrassing safety issues with its planes in recent months. In January, an Alaska Airlines flight experienced a door blowout mid-air, which was reportedly due to plugs used to secure the door plug panel being left out during repairs. In March, a Boeing 777 flying for United Airlines lost a tire when attempting a take-off from San Francisco. Following concerns about a part near the front of the planes, the company halted deliveries of its 787 jets in 2023.

Neither Boeing nor the DOJ have commented publicly regarding the recommended charges, and a final decision has yet to be made on whether to proceed with charging the manufacturer.

Several whistleblowers have highlighted safety concerns about the company’s production lines. One whistleblower, 62-year-old John Barnett, reportedly died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in March. Another, 45-year-old Joshua Dean, died in May following a rapidly spreading infection.

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