Families Of Boeing Crash Victims Demand $25 Billion Fine and Criminal Charges

The decision follows Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun’s recent acknowledgment of the “seriousness” of the company’s safety issues.

Families of victims of the Boeing 737 MAX crashes have urged U.S. authorities to levy a fine of up to $24.8 billion on Boeing and to pursue criminal charges against the company. This call for action follows Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun’s recent acknowledgement of significant safety lapses within the company.

On Tuesday, Calhoun addressed a U.S. congressional panel, admitting the “gravity” of Boeing’s safety issues and assuring lawmakers that steps are being taken to rectify these problems. The session was marked by the presence of crash victims’ relatives, who displayed photographs of their lost loved ones, underscoring the personal toll of Boeing’s failures.

Paul Cassell, representing the families, argued in a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice that a maximum fine is both legally justified and appropriate given the severity of Boeing’s actions. “Because Boeing’s crime is the deadliest corporate crime in U.S. history, a maximum fine of more than $24 billion is legally justified and clearly appropriate,” Cassell wrote.

The detailed 32-page letter outlines the basis for the proposed fine. It suggests that Boeing should face a maximum penalty of $24,780,000,000. Additionally, it recommends suspending $14 billion to $22 billion of this fine, provided Boeing uses these funds to establish an independent corporate monitor and enhance its compliance and safety programs.

Cassell’s letter also demands that Boeing’s Board of Directors engage directly with the victims’ families. Furthermore, it calls for immediate criminal prosecutions of the corporate officials responsible at the time of the crashes.

This case stems from the tragic crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia in 2018 and 2019, which together resulted in the loss of 346 lives. The families’ plea comes amid increasing scrutiny of Boeing, exacerbated by recent manufacturing and safety issues.

Boeing’s safety practices have once again come under intense examination following a January 5 incident. A Boeing 737 MAX, operated by Alaska Airlines, had to make an emergency landing after a fuselage panel detached mid-flight.

The families’ demand for stringent penalties and criminal accountability highlights the ongoing struggle for justice and safety reforms in the aviation industry. As Boeing faces mounting pressure, the outcome of this appeal could significantly impact the company’s future operations and regulatory environment.