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Boeing’s plea deal to plead guilty to 737 Max crashes outrages victims’ families

Boeing’s plea deal to plead guilty to 737 Max crashes outrages victims’ families

Boeing’s plea deal to plead guilty to 737 Max crashes outrages victims’ families

The aircraft manufacturing company Boeingone of the largest in the world, reached an agreement with the authorities of U.S and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the federal government in connection with two crashes of its 737 Max planes that killed 346 people in Indonesia and Ethiopia. If that plea is approved by a judge, the company will no longer be able to stand trial in either case.

According to a statement from United States Department of Justice released on Sunday, Boeing agreed to pay a fine of US$ 243.6 million and will spend $455 million over the next three years to improve its compliance and security programs.

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These figures are far lower than the $24.8 billion that victims’ families have demanded. Boeing.

These are the keys to the agreement:

The plane of the Indonesian low-cost company Lion Air crashed with 189 people on board. (Photo: EFE).

The first accident occurred in October 2018, when a plane Lion Air’s 737 Max which transported 189 people from Jakarta, Indonesiacollapsed in the Java Sea minutes after takeoff.

On March 10, 2019, another 737 Max.operated by Ethiopian Airlinescrashed after takeoff on a flight to Addis Ababa, killing all 157 people on board, including all eight crew members.

Debris has piled up at the site of the Ethiopian Airlines plane crash. (Mulugeta Ayene/AP)

Debris has piled up at the site of the Ethiopian Airlines plane crash. (Mulugeta Ayene/AP)

After these accidents, More than 40 countries will remove Boeing 737 Max from their fleetsuntil the cause of the disasters was determined.

According to an explanation from BBC Mundo, in 2021 US prosecutors charged Boeing in conspiracy defraud regulatory bodies by claiming that he had misled the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) about your flight control system MCASinvolved in both accidents.

Boeing had added a new one Software flight control Max. this could push the plane’s nose down if a sensor indicated the craft might be approaching an aerodynamic stall. The company initially did not inform pilots or airlines about the MCAS software.

The system was activated before both crashes due to faulty readings from each plane’s single sensor, investigators said.

In 2021, the FAA agreed not to prosecute Boeing if the company paid a fine and successfully completed a three-year period of increased monitoring and reporting.

But in January of this year, just before that period ended, Alaska Airlines Boeing door fell off shortly after takeoff, forcing the plane to make an emergency landing.

In May, the Justice Department stated that Boeing failed to comply with the terms of the 2021 agreement, which opened the possibility of a lawsuit.

The decision to Boeing pleading guilty is significant because the company had not been convicted of a federal crime in decades. In the filing, the Department of Justice described the charge of conspiracy to defraud the federal government as “the most serious crime that was immediately demonstrable.”

The Boeing Co. logo is displayed outside the company's offices near Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on Jan. 18, 2024. (Photo by Patrick T. Fallon/AFP)

The Boeing Co. logo is displayed outside the company’s offices near Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on Jan. 18, 2024. (Photo by Patrick T. Fallon/AFP). (PATRICK T. FALLON/)

The New York Times said that in addition to paying the aforementioned fine, The company will be on probation for three years, which will be overseen by the Federal Court for the Northern District of Texas.

As part of the trial period, the Justice Department will appoint an independent monitor who will ensure compliance with the security measures and will submit annual reports to the government. The company will face additional penalties if it fails to comply with any of the conditions.

The company’s board of directors will also be required to meet with the families of the accident victims.

The tail fin of the Boeing 737 and a wing of the Boeing 737 Max (right) during the International Paris Air Show at Paris-Le Bourget Airport. (Photo by JULIEN DE ROSA/AFP)

The tail fin of the Boeing 737 and a wing of the Boeing 737 Max (right) during the International Paris Air Show at Paris-Le Bourget Airport. (Photo by JULIEN DE ROSA/AFP). (JULIEN DE ROSA/)

The agreement must be seen by a judge, This could block him. The AP explained that there will be a hearing before District Judge Reed O’Connor in Fort Worth, Texas. He may accept the deal, in which case he cannot change the terms of the punishment for Boeing. Or it could reject it, which would likely lead to new negotiations between Boeing and prosecutors. A hearing date has not been set.

If the agreement remains firm, it will prevent Boeing go through a trial. It could also pay far less than the $24.8 billion that victims’ families are demanding from the planemaker.

Relatives of those killed in the crash of the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX hold a press conference. (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP)

Relatives of those killed in the crash of the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX hold a press conference. (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP). (SAUL LOEB/)

Consulted by the EFE agency, Anton Sahadi, spokesperson for the families of the victims of Boeing 737 Max damaged in 2018 in Indonesiadescribed as insufficient the agreement and indicated that The pact did not take into account the victims’ opinions.

Sahadi said criminal responsibilities should be greater and that the agreement does not allow Boeing fulfill its obligation to the families of the victims.

He argued that the settlement should have included criminal charges against those who green-lighted the sale of the 737 Max planes. “If this accident happens again in the future, Boeing He will do the same, offering an ‘apology’,” the spokesperson lamented.

“In the last five years, much more evidence has been presented showing that the culture of Boeing of putting profit over safety has not changed. “This plea agreement only furthers that corporate goal,” another attorney for the victims, Robert A. Clifford, said in a statement.

The Justice Department acknowledged the families’ position in its court filing on Sunday.

In a separate lawsuit, the families said they will oppose the settlement and “intend to argue that the settlement with Boeing makes unfair concessions to Boeing that other criminal defendants would never receive and fails to hold Boeing accountable for the deaths of 346 people.”

Zipporah Kuria, a 28-year-old London woman whose father, Joseph, was on the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing that crashed in March 2019, said I wanted a test and argued that in this process new details would have been revealed about what caused the accidents, according to the AP agency.

Now, with the possibility of there never being a trial, “the opportunity to continue to investigate, the opportunity to continue to find out what went wrong here and what is wrong, has been taken away from us,” Kuria added. “So once again, they (the victims) have been deprived of their dignity and we have been deprived of our closure.”

The company has already paid $500 million in restitution to victims’ families and $243.6 million in fines.

This image provided by the NTSB on Jan. 8, 2024, shows the hole in the Alaska Airlines plane, a Boeing 737-9 MAX that departed from Portland, Oregon. (Handout Photo/NTSB/AFP)

This image provided by the NTSB on Jan. 8, 2024, shows the hole in the Alaska Airlines plane, a Boeing 737-9 MAX that departed from Portland, Oregon. (Handout Photo/NTSB/AFP). (HANDLING/)

The decision to Boeing Pleading guilty does not confer immunity on any employee or director of the company.

The settlement does not protect the company from charges that may arise from other investigations, including the one related to the January 5 episode in Alaska Airlines, when a panel blew out on a Boeing 737 Max shortly after the plane took off from the airport in Portland, Oregon.

While the incident did not cause serious injuries, it could have been catastrophic if it had occurred minutes later, when the plane reached cruising altitude and flight attendants and passengers were able to move around the cabin, the NYT noted.

Source: Elcomercio

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