Judge Criticizes DOJ for Secret Dealings in Plane Crash Cases

After investigating Boeing’s false information given to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the DOJ struck a deal with Boeing, dropping several charges in exchange for Boeing admitting its fraud. Families of those who passed in the plane crashes were told there was no investigation, later challenging the $2.4 billion-dollar settlement.

From The Gateway Pundit:

On Friday, Judge O’Connor handed down his ruling that the crashes victims were crime victims. He explained that the families had proven both direct (that is, “but for”) causation and proximate causation. Regarding but-for causation, the families had:

established a direct chain of causation. Had Boeing not committed its crime, the FAA[] would have required … [flight simulator] training for operators of the 737 MAX and would have included information related to MCAS in relevant training materials. As a result, foreign regulators—including Indonesian and Ethiopian authorities—would have issued similar training certifications and instructional materials, having taken their [cue] from the world’s leading authority on aviation standards, the FAA. And ultimately, foreign operators of the 737 MAX—including the pilots on Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302—would have received training adequate to respond to the MCAS activation that occurred on both aircrafts. In sum, but for Boeing’s criminal conspiracy to defraud the FAA, 346 people would not have lost their lives in the crashes.


[I]t is generally foreseeable that Boeing’s deceiving the [FAA] which resulted in an improperly low level of differences training certification, would potentially cause a disaster. As noted above, reasonable laypeople could easily predict that inadequate pilot training might result in catastrophic airplane crashes, as it did here. And given the well-recognized global industry practice of foreign entities following the FAA’s recommended guidance, it was generally foreseeable that Lion Air’s and Ethiopian Airlines’ pilots, would have been inadequately trained with respect to MCAS because of foreign regulators’ reliance on the [FAA training requirements] certification and silence on MCAS in its [materials about training]. Not only was this outcome generally foreseeable, Boeing admitted as much [in an internal email]: “FAA is pretty powerful and most countries defer to what the FAA does[.]”

In light of these factual findings, Judge O’Connor granted the families’ motion for findings that the Justice Department and Boeing negotiated the DPA in violation of the CVRA. As explained in the families’ motion, the CVRA entitled the families the rights to: (1) reasonably confer with the Department about the DPA; (2) receive timely notice of the DPA before it was finalized; and (3) be treated with fairness during the process. As also explained in the motion, the Justice Department not only made no effort to confer with the families, it actually deceived them by falsely stating that the FBI was not conducting a criminal investigation into the two crashes.