Relatives of 737 MAX crash victims seek independent monitor for Boeing after plea deal

3 days ago 32

NEW YORK - Relatives of people killed in two fatal 737 MAX crashes asked a US judge on Wednesday to name an independent corporate monitor to oversee Boeing Co’s compliance efforts with a 2021 deferred prosecution agreement.

US District Judge Reed O’Connor last week ordered Boeing to appear in court on Thursday in Fort Worth, Texas, to be arraigned on a felony charge after families of those killed in the 2018 and 2019 crashes objected to a US$2.5 billion (S$3.3 billion) Justice Department agreement to resolve a 737 MAX fraud conspiracy charge related to the plane’s flawed design.

The crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia, which cost Boeing more than US$20 billion, led to a 20-month grounding for the best-selling plane and prompted lawmakers to pass sweeping legislation reforming airplane certification.

The families want Judge O’Connor to name an independent monitor to oversee Boeing’s compliance; impose a standard condition that Boeing commit no new crimes; and disclose publicly as much as possible of the substance of Boeing’s corporate compliance efforts adopted since 2021.

“Only an independent monitor – the proverbial second set of eyes – can begin to restore confidence in Boeing and ensure safety of the community,” the families said.

Boeing did not immediately comment but Chief Executive Dave Calhoun told CNBC on Wednesday the planemaker did not object to the arraignment and expressed sympathy for the families. He said their views were “a good reminder.. of how important safety is for all of us.”

The planemaker is expected to enter a not guilty plea on Thursday as is standard in deferred prosecution cases. The...

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