Families of Boeing Crash Victims Want Company Prosecuted 

The relatives of passengers who died in two different jetliner crashes are pushing federal officials to prosecute Boeing with criminal charges related to the accidents.

On Friday, the relatives pressed federal officials to start those prosecutions by this fall at the latest, but they said that the Department of Justice did not commit to anything when they spoke with officials there. 

Two weeks ago, the DOJ determined that Boeing violated settlement terms that allowed the company to avoid prosecution for deceiving the regulators who were responsible for approving its Boeing 737 Max jet.

It’s possible that Boeing will face sanctions over that violation, and prosecutors said they would announce their decision on the matter by July 7.

In 2021, Boeing agreed to pay $2.5 billion so they wouldn’t be prosecuted on fraud charges. Most of that money was given as compensation to various airlines.

Ever since the settlement was announced, relatives of a portion of the 346 people who died in crashes in 2018 and 2019 have tried to scuttle the agreement.

It looked as if the fraud case was going to be permanently dismissed, but that all changed in January. That month, a door plug blew off from a Max jet during a flight that Alaska Airlines was taking, which led to brand new investigations of the company.

Recently, Michael Stumo, whose daughter Samya died in the 2019 crash, said:

“They claimed the Max is completely safe, it’s the most-scrutinized plane ever, even as the doors blow off on the Alaska Air (Max), and they can’t blame the pilots anymore.”

On Friday, the DOJ declined to comment on the situation, but did say Boeing violated terms of its 2021 settlement when it didn’t make changes that it promised to make to detect and then prevent violations of any federal anti-fraud law.

That being said, prosecutors haven’t yet revealed publicly specific instances of alleged fraud that Boeing has committed. Early last month, Boeing did disclose that some of its workers at a plant in South Carolina falsified various inspection reports for some of the company’s 787 Dreamliner jets.

A spokesperson for Boeing said:

“We believe that we have honored the terms of the agreement, and look forward to the opportunity to respond to the Justice Department on this issue.”

In addition, the company added that it’s acting “with the utmost transparency” to answer all questions that the DOJ has, including any surrounding the incident with Alaska Airlines.

The two crashes that happened on Boeing planes in October of 2018 and March of 2019 resulted in 346 people being killed.

The first crash occurred on October 29, 2018, in Jakarta, Indonesia. All 189 passengers and crew who were on board were killed.

The second crash occurred on March 10, 2019, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Not long after that plane took off, it crashed, killing 157 people who were on board.