Boeing faces potential prosecution after breaching 737 MAX settlement, US DOJ says

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has notified Boeing that it breached the terms of a 2021 agreement that shielded the company from criminal charges related to two fatal crashes of the 737 MAX aircraft.

This decision comes after a series of safety missteps by Boeing, including an incident in January where a door plug blew off an Alaska Airlines flight shortly after takeoff.

The DOJ alleges that Boeing failed to implement promised changes to prevent and detect violations of federal anti-fraud laws.

This could lead to criminal prosecution for any federal crime of which the DOJ has knowledge, including the original fraud charge the company hoped to avoid through the 2021 settlement.

While the DOJ is yet to decide whether it will pursue prosecution, Boeing will have until June 13 to respond to the allegations. The department will then determine its next steps by July 7.

Boeing, however, maintains that it has honored the terms of the agreement and looks forward to responding to the DOJ with “utmost transparency.”

Families of victims from the 2018 Lion Air and 2019 Ethiopian Airlines crashes have expressed anger and disappointment over the initial settlement in 2021, arguing it denied them justice.

Lawyer Paul Cassell, representing the families, described the DOJ’s recent decision as a “positive first step” but stressed the need for further action to hold Boeing accountable.

The DOJ is scheduled to meet with the victims’ families on May 31 to discuss next steps.

Source: CNN, BBC, AP News

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