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Boeing to plead guilty in 737 Max crash lawsuit as part of settlement: DOJ

Boeing has agreed to plead guilty to defrauding the government in a lawsuit over two crashes of the 737 Max plane in 2018 and 2019, according to a court filing on Sunday. The filing by the Justice Department in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas said the two parties have “agreement […]

Boeing has agreed to plead guilty to defrauding the government in a lawsuit over two crashes of the 737 Max plane in 2018 and 2019, according to a court filing on Sunday.

The filing by the Justice Department in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas said the two parties have “agreement in principle on the terms of a proposed plea agreement.”

The agreement would include the guilty plea, after the DOJ alleged Boeing had violated a 2021 settlement, and an additional $243.6 million fine. It also requires the company to make a $455 million investment into improving its compliance and safety programs.


The company’s board of directors will also meet with the victims of the Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashes as part of the agreement. The two crashes in 2018 and 2019, respectively, killed 346 people.

The company confirmed it had agreed in principle to a resolution but said it would defer to the Justice Department for additional information.

A Boeing 737 Max jet, piloted by Federal Aviation Administration chief Steve Dickson, prepares to land at Boeing Field following a test flight on Sept. 30, 2020, in Seattle. On Sunday, July 7, 2024, the Justice Department said Boeing has agreed to plead guilty to a criminal fraud charge stemming from two deadly crashes of 737 Max jetliners. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

“We can confirm that we have reached an agreement in principle on terms of a resolution with the Justice Department, subject to the memorialization and approval of specific terms,” a Boeing spokesperson told the Washington Examiner.

Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun publicly apologized to victims of the 737 Max crashes at a Senate hearing last month, saying the deaths “are gut-wrenching, and I apologize for the grief that we have caused.”

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The agreement is over a lawsuit involving Boeing’s 737 Max 8 planes, but Boeing has been placed under further scrutiny over recent plane malfunctions that have led to calls for more oversight and investigation of the company.

In January, a door blew out of an Alaska Airlines 737 Max 9 shortly after takeoff in Portland, Oregon. The incident did not lead to any deaths, unlike previous 737 Max incidents.

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