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Ralph Nader > Special Features > Remarks by Ralph Nader regarding the filing today in federal district court in Chicago of the deal between the lawyers for Boeing and the lawyers for the bereaved families.

Remarks by Ralph Nader regarding the filing today in federal district court in Chicago of the deal between the lawyers for Boeing and the lawyers for the bereaved families.

“It is a strange settlement without Boeing having to guarantee any dollars whatsoever. Plaintiffs gave up even the right to even argue for punitive damages in the Ethiopian manslaughter crash. They had to abandon discovery and depositions of former CEO Dennis Muilenburg and current CEO Dave Calhoun. Plaintiffs had to surrender their freedom of speech, silenced by a permanent secrecy order. Boeing executives get off completely. Whatever compensation jury and mediation awards end up paying is insurable and deductible. There are no disclosures that could reopen the Department of Justice deferred criminal prosecution agreement. There is no real deterrent, only a transferable cost of doing business.

The great American tort law system, assuring individual justice against wrongdoers, has been reduced to a collective slap on Boeing’s wing, as the company continues to build hundreds more aerodynamically troubled 737 MAXs. It is now up to the media and Congress to pry open all that happened to come to this sweetheart deal for Boeing and its reckless management.

P.S. Let’s say Boeing pays out $2-3 billion to the families of the victims. Compare that to the latest $20 billion stock buyback that Mr. Muilenburg got the board of directors to approve two months after the Lion Air crash in October 2018. (Later rescinded because of the subsequent public uproar.)”