Department of Justice Reportedly Offers Boeing a Plea Deal

What's next for the troubled airline manufacturer?

Boeing factory
The Boeing Airplanes factory where several models of its commercial aircraft, including the 787 Dreamliner, are produced in 2020.
Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

There’s been a lot of attention paid to airplane manufacturer Boeing this year after a series of high-profile issues with their planes — including a door plug failing spectacularly in the middle of a flight. It’s not the only issue the company has faced recently, which have also included issues with the slide on one flight and delays involving its Starliner spacecraft. The latest controversy the company faces, however, has its roots in an earlier crisis for the company — the time when two 737 Max crashed within a short period of time.

Last month, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that Boeing had not abided by the terms of an agreement it filed in the wake of those events. And now, we have a sense of what the punishment for that might look like. Writing at The New York Times, Niraj Chokshi has details of the plea agreement the Justice Department has reportedly offered Boeing.

According to the Times, if Boeing takes the deal, they’ll need to pay a fine of $244 million, meet with victims’ families, invest in safety and spend three years being monitored by a third party. These details are emerging now, Chokshi wrote, because the Justice Department notified the families of victims of the 737 Max crashes prior to contacting Boeing.

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One of the lawyers representing the families was not satisfied with these terms. “The memory of 346 innocents killed by Boeing demands more justice than this,” attorney Paul G. Cassell told the Times.

This new plea deal would follow a $2.5 billion settlement that Boeing agreed to pay in the aftermath of the 737 Max crashes. These subsequent charges related to Boeing violating the terms of a safety agreement it had previously agreed to.


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