Breaking News
Get 40% Off 0
👀 Reveal Warren Buffett's stock picks that are beating the S&P 500 by +174.3% Get 40% Off

U.S. judge: Passengers in fatal Boeing 737 MAX crashes are 'crime victims'

Published Oct 21, 2022 06:58PM ET Updated Oct 21, 2022 09:25PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
© Reuters
Add to/Remove from Watchlist
Add to Watchlist
Add Position

Position added successfully to:

Please name your holdings portfolio

By David Shepardson

(Reuters) -A U.S. judge in Texas ruled on Friday that people killed in two Boeing (NYSE:BA) 737 MAX crashes are legally considered "crime victims," a designation that will determine what remedies should be imposed.

In December, some crash victims' relatives said the U.S. Justice Department violated their legal rights when it struck a January 2021 deferred prosecution agreement with the planemaker over two crashes that killed 346 people.

The families argued the government "lied and violated their rights through a secret process" and asked U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor to rescind Boeing's immunity from criminal prosecution - which was part of the $2.5 billion agreement - and order the planemaker publicly arraigned on felony charges.

O'Connor ruled on Friday that "in sum, but for Boeing's criminal conspiracy to defraud the (Federal Aviation Administration), 346 people would not have lost their lives in the crashes."

Paul Cassell, a lawyer for the families, said the ruling "is a tremendous victory" and "sets the stage for a pivotal hearing, where we will present proposed remedies that will allow criminal prosecution to hold Boeing fully accountable."

Boeing did not immediately comment.

After the families filed the legal challenge saying their rights were violated under the Crime Victims' Rights Act, Attorney General Merrick Garland met with some of them but stood by the plea deal, which included a $244 million fine, $1.77 billion compensation to airlines and a $500 million crash-victim fund.

The deal capped a 21-month investigation into the design and development of the 737 MAX following the deadly crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia in 2018 and 2019.

Boeing did not disclose key details to the FAA of a safety system called MCAS, which was linked to both fatal crashes and designed to help counter a tendency of the MAX to pitch up. "Had Boeing not committed its crime" pilots in Ethiopia and Indonesia would have "received training adequate to respond to the MCAS activation that occurred on both aircrafts," O'Connor ruled.

The crashes, which have cost Boeing more than $20 billion in compensation, production costs, and fines, and led to a 20-month grounding for the best-selling plane, prompted Congress to pass legislation reforming FAA airplane certification.

Boeing wants Congress to waive a December deadline imposed by the legislation for the FAA to certify the MAX 7 and MAX 10. After that date, all planes must have modern cockpit alerting systems, which the 737 planes do not have.

Last month, Boeing paid $200 million to settle Securities and Exchange Commission charges it misled investors about the MAX.

U.S. judge: Passengers in fatal Boeing 737 MAX crashes are 'crime victims'

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.
  • Any comment you publish, together with your profile, will be public on and may be indexed and available through third party search engines, such as Google.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Post also to:
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Comments (1)
Don Getty
Don Getty Oct 21, 2022 10:25PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
sue their butts off - and send the ceo to jail
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
Sign up with Email