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Families of Boeing 737 Max Crash Victims Urge US to seek $24 Billion Fine

The DOJ's scrutiny intensified after it was found that Boeing had violated a 2021 deferred-prosecution agreement, originally established after the 737 Max crashes in 2018 and 2019 that claimed 346 lives.

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Staff Writer, TLR

Published on June 20, 2024, 14:30:22

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boeing crash victims seek fine

Families of victims from the two fatal crashes involving Boeing 737 Max aircraft are urging the US Department of Justice (DOJ) to pursue a fine of $24.8 billion against the aerospace giant, labelling the incidents as the deadliest corporate crime in US history.

Paul Cassell, representing 15 families, emphasised in a letter to the DOJ that this amount is legally warranted and fitting. He proposed that between $14 billion and $22 billion of the total fine could be suspended if Boeing allocates these funds to an independent corporate monitor and enhances its safety programs.

Additionally, Cassell urged the DOJ to consider criminal prosecution of Boeing and insisted that the company's board of directors meet with the families affected.

The letter coincided with Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun facing intense questioning from US senators about Boeing's safety culture following recent incidents, including a January incident where a 737 Max fuselage panel detached during flight, triggering a criminal investigation.

Boeing and the DOJ did not respond immediately for comment due to a US holiday. The DOJ's scrutiny intensified after it was found that Boeing had violated a 2021 deferred-prosecution agreement, originally established after the 737 Max crashes in 2018 and 2019 that claimed 346 lives.

The DOJ's decision on potential penalties for Boeing, which may include criminal charges or renegotiating terms of the agreement, is expected by July 7.

The families' letter also urged the DOJ to prosecute former Boeing executives who were in leadership roles during the crashes. However, the families acknowledged that the five-year statute of limitations might complicate potential criminal charges against individuals.

The ongoing developments underscore the gravity of the situation for Boeing, as it navigates legal repercussions and public scrutiny stemming from the tragic aviation accidents.

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