Department of Justice says the manufacturer did not follow required procedures in exchange for exemption from lawsuits over 737 Max accidents

The US Department of Justice accused Boeing of violating a contract that protected the company from criminal prosecution for crashes of the 737 Max plane. On Tuesday (May 14, 2024), the agency announced that the plane manufacturer did not comply with the measures required in the agreement. The information comes from the Reuters news agency.

The contract exempted Boeing from any criminal proceedings relating to the crashes on 737 Max aircraft in 2018 and 2019, which killed 346 people. Two days before the end of the agreement, the Alaska Airlines accident occurred, when an emergency door came loose during the flight.

After investigations into the manufacturer’s safety procedures, the North American court confirmed a breach of determination to “design, implement, and enforce a compliance and ethics program to prevent and detect violations of U.S. fraud laws throughout its operations”.

Accidents involving the 737 Max

Boeing has until June 13 to respond to the accusations. If the department decides to proceed with the action, the company will be responsible for the following crashes of 737 Max aircraft:

  • In 2018, just minutes after taking off from Jakarta airport, the aircraft crashed into the Java Sea with 181 passengers and 7 crew on board.
  • In 2019, a Boeing plane heading from Ethiopia to Kenya crashed minutes after takeoff

The lawyer for the victims’ families, Paul Cassell, told Reuters that the accusation is “an important first step” to hold the manufacturer responsible.


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