Victims of Boeing Crash Angered by DOJ "Sweetheart Deal"
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    Victims of Boeing Crash Angered by Department of Justice “Sweetheart Deal” Explained to Them in Conferral Meeting

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    Posted on June 30, 2024 To
    Victims of Boeing Crash Angered by Department of Justice “Sweetheart Deal” Explained to Them in Conferral Meeting

    Attorneys and families reacted vehemently during a near two-hour meeting Sunday (June 30, 2024) with the head of the Department of Justice (DOJ) Fraud Division and other DOJ lawyers regarding the next steps it intends to take regarding Boeing following two crashes and other safety concerns at the aircraft manufacturer. The DOJ presented what families and lawyers termed a “sweetheart deal” that will be asking Boeing to accept several terms that they disagreed with and doesn’t include any individuals being prosecuted.

    Paul Cassell, attorney for the families in the criminal action pending in federal district court in Texas and professor of the S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah, said, “The Justice Department is preparing to offer to Boeing another sweetheart plea deal. The deal will not acknowledge, in any way, that Boeing’s crime killed 346 people. It also appears to rest on the idea that Boeing did not harm any victim. The families will strenuously object to this plea deal. Judge Reed O’Connor will have to decide whether this no-accountability-deal is in the public interest. Indeed, he will have to decide whether to approve a federal Rule 11(c)(1)(C) that ties his hands at sentencing and prevents him from imposing any additional punishment or remedial measures. The memory of 346 innocents killed by Boeing demands more justice than this.”

    Robert A. Clifford, founder and senior partner at Clifford Law Offices and Lead Counsel in the civil litigation pending in federal district court in Chicago who participated in the call, said, “I can tell you that the families are very unhappy and angered with DOJ’s decisions and proposal. There is no accountability, no admission that Boeing’s admitted crime caused the 346 deaths, and the families will most certainly object before Judge Reed O’Connor and ask that he reject the plea if Boeing accepts.”

    Cassell told Leon that the families will be traveling from around the world to go to the next hearing before Judge O’Connor in Texas “to fight this.”

    Glenn Leon, Chief of the Fraud Section of the Criminal Division at the U.S. DOJ, told the group on the call that the DOJ hasn’t shared the new plea agreement with Boeing but would do so later Sunday. He admitted there is “a strong interest” by the families to go to trial, but he repeatedly said that the DOJ couldn’t prove charges by a reasonable doubt. Families argued over and over for a trial and to allow a jury to make that decision.

    Javier de Luis, who lost his sister in the second crash of a Boeing 737 MAX8 jet and who was a member of the Federal Aviation Administration Expert Review Panel on Boeing’s Safety Culture, said following Sunday’s meeting, “The issue is not whether there should be trial vs a plea deal. The issue is that the penalties being proposed by the DoJ are totally inadequate both from the perspective of accountability for the crimes committed and from the perspective of acting in the public interest by ensuring a change in Boeing’s behavior. The penalties proposed here are essentially the same as those proposed under the previous DPA which, as Alaska Air demonstrated, did nothing to increase the safety of the flying public.”

    Other issues included the choosing of a corporate monitor and the amount of the fine DOJ intends to ask the court to impose on Boeing.

    For further information, contact Clifford Law Offices Communications Partner Pamela Sakowicz Menaker at 847-721-0909 (Cell).