Boeing representatives and relatives of some of the passengers killed in two crashes of Boeing 737 Max jets will meet face-to-face in a Texas courtroom Thursday, where the aerospace giant will be arraigned on a criminal charge that it thought it had settled two years ago.
In a brief filed Wednesday, lawyers for the families accused Boeing of committing “the deadliest corporate crime in U.S. history.”
The family members were never consulted before Boeing cut a deal with the U.S. Justice Department to avoid prosecution on a felony charge of fraud. Up to a dozen or so people from several countries are expected to testify about how the loss of loved ones has affected them.
There will be two main phases to the arraignment: Boeing will enter a plea, and then relatives of the passengers will ask the court to impose conditions on Boeing much as it would on any criminal defendant.
The families said in a filing Wednesday those conditions should include a court-picked monitor to evaluate whether Boeing is creating a culture of safety and ethics — as it promised the government — and that its steps to do so be made public.
Boeing has faced civil lawsuits, congressional investigations and massive damage to its business since the crashes in 2018 and 2019, which killed a combined total of 346 people. Boeing and its top officials have avoided criminal prosecution, however, because of the settlement reached between the company and the government in January 2021.
Courtesy AP. By David Koenig.