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Boeing: Crash victims' relatives demand charges and billion-dollar fine

Family members of victims of Boeing plane crashes display signs after the Senate hearing
Family members of victims of Boeing plane crashes display signs after the Senate hearing Copyright Mariam Zuhaib/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved.
Copyright Mariam Zuhaib/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved.
By Euronews and AP
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A total of 346 people died in two Boeing 737 Max crashes. Their relatives are calling for a $24.8 billion fine on the company, saying what happened was "the deadliest corporate crime in US history".


Families of some of the people who died in two Boeing 737 Max crashes are calling on federal officials to fine Boeing $24.8 billion (€23 billion) and asking them to move quickly to prosecute the company on a criminal charge that was set aside three years ago.

In a letter to the US Justice Department on Wednesday, a lawyer for the families said that a large fine is justified "because Boeing's crime is the deadliest corporate crime in U.S. history".

Lawyer Paul Cassell also wrote that the government should prosecute officials who were in charge of Boeing at the time of the crashes in 2018 and 2019, including the then-CEO, Dennis Muilenburg. In all, 346 people were killed in the crashes.

The first crash occurred when a Boeing 737 Max 8 operated by Indonesia's Lion Air plunged into the Java Sea in October 2018. The second happened in March 2019, when an Ethiopian Airlines 737 Max 8 crashed nearly straight down into a field six minutes after take off from Addis Ababa.

The demand from the families comes as the Justice Department considers whether to revive a dormant criminal charge of fraud against Boeing. Last month, prosecutors determined that the company had violated a 2021 settlement that protected the company from prosecution for allegedly misleading regulators who approved the Max.

The Justice Department has until 7 July to tell a federal judge in Texas whether it will revive the case. During a hearing on Tuesday, Senator Richard Blumenthal said there was "mounting evidence" that the company should be prosecuted.

Boeing has not responded to a request for comment. The company has previously said it had met its obligations under the 2021 settlement.

The Justice Department opened an investigation into Boeing after a door plug blew off a 737 Max during an Alaska Airlines flight in January. That incident led to increased scrutiny of the company and outgoing CEO David Calhoun, appeared before the Senate on Tuesday and defended Boeing's safety record.



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