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Boeing Lawyers Their Way Out of Punitive Damages for Ethiopian Crash

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  • Boeing Lawyers Their Way Out of Punitive Damages for Ethiopian Crash

    This is par for the course in today's climate: pay off the plaintiffs and the case goes away. One could argue that Boeing has punished itself more than enough just by coming up with the MAX in the first place (to the tune of 20 billion so far) but what transpired was a crime commited by a handful of executives who will only profit from their misdeeds. Preventing such debacles in the future requires a punishment that fits the crime, not against the company, but against those truly responsible. Instead of inflicting massive financial burdens on Boeing, justice would focus on the few culpable individuals and ensure that they are never better off for their treachery and betrayal of the public trust.

    https://edition.cnn.com/2021/11/11/i...nes/index.html

  • #2
    while i'm on the fence about punitives being punitive against a publicly traded company, i do agree with evan (a rare event) that nothing short of criminal prosecution is appropriate--and against individuals not the company.

    i a much smaller case i handled some years ago, a party embezzled $250k from a condo. while i pursued a civil suit against him, the prosecution begrudgingly brought criminal charges against the LLC the turd operated under. of course this led to a plea agreement. at the hearing on same, the judge asks the prosecutor, "um, say i decide not to accept this plea deal and we go to trial. what exactly do i do with a guilty verdict against an LLC? why weren't charges filed against the sole member (owner) of the LLC?" at which point the prosecutor asked the judge to go into chambers and of course she ended up accepting the deal.

    end of the day, albeit on a far smaller scale, justice was not served.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by TeeVee View Post
      while i'm on the fence about punitives being punitive against a publicly traded company, i do agree with evan (a rare event) that nothing short of criminal prosecution is appropriate--and against individuals not the company.

      i a much smaller case i handled some years ago, a party embezzled $250k from a condo. while i pursued a civil suit against him, the prosecution begrudgingly brought criminal charges against the LLC the turd operated under. of course this led to a plea agreement. at the hearing on same, the judge asks the prosecutor, "um, say i decide not to accept this plea deal and we go to trial. what exactly do i do with a guilty verdict against an LLC? why weren't charges filed against the sole member (owner) of the LLC?" at which point the prosecutor asked the judge to go into chambers and of course she ended up accepting the deal.

      end of the day, albeit on a far smaller scale, justice was not served.
      I think that I Argentina you just cant prosecute an organization (persona jurídica) with criminal charges, only with civil charges (liability). Criminal charges are placed against "personas físicas" only. The ide being that a company can pay for damages but the entities that make the decisions knowing that they are illegal, or with gross disregard for the life and safety, etc, are human beings.

      --- Judge what is said by the merits of what is said, not by the credentials of who said it. ---
      --- Defend what you say with arguments, not by imposing your credentials ---

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Gabriel View Post

        I think that I Argentina you just cant prosecute an organization (persona jurídica) with criminal charges, only with civil charges (liability). Criminal charges are placed against "personas físicas" only. The ide being that a company can pay for damages but the entities that make the decisions knowing that they are illegal, or with gross disregard for the life and safety, etc, are human beings.
        Well it would warm my heart to see Boeing pursue full compensation of their losses against these former (and perhaps extant) executives. Leave them in penury, if not behind bars.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Evan View Post

          Well it would warm my heart to see Boeing pursue full compensation of their losses against these former (and perhaps extant) executives. Leave them in penury, if not behind bars.
          Maybe drawn and quartered, right?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by BoeingBobby View Post

            Maybe drawn and quartered, right?
            You mean torn apart like their victims?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Evan View Post

              You mean torn apart like their victims?
              You word it as though it was premeditated.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by BoeingBobby View Post

                You word it as though it was premeditated.
                On the contrary. The crime here was negligence in not premeditating. Except on the short-term stock price when being compensated in that currency.

                The ultrafans arrived as expected and Boeing didn't have a product that could carry them. They had killed that product years earlier to prop up the bottom line. Airbus did have a product and everybody wanted it. There was no longer time for a new airframe certification so Boeing execs did some desperate and reckless things. Many people died. Meditate on that.

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                • #9
                  methinks evan's point here is 6 p's (proper planning prevents plenty people passing). clearly boeing managers and execs did not invoke said 6 p's.

                  i think BB's point is that ultimately the pilots should've been able to fly their way out of trouble, or at least the second crew. or maybe i'm wrong.

                  every plane is inherently dangerous if the two people up front dont mind their business. planes, even with the fancy gizmos and automation, can and will fail. we mere mortals rely on the two mortals up front to not let that happen.

                  yes, i woke up captain obvious today...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by TeeVee View Post
                    yes, i woke up captain obvious today...
                    You missed a few obvious things...

                    Obviously, Airbus was developing the A320NEO. Boeing did not develop a competitive product until the last minute.

                    Obviously, neither the LEAP 1 nor the PW1000G, both inevitable game changers, were going to fit under the 737.

                    Obviously, asking engineers to find a way out of this dilemma without triggering a new type certification was going to involve some risky and dubious legerdemain.

                    Obviously, when a system can override pilot inputs, full sensor redundancy is essential.

                    Obviously, when a test pilot realizes that a potentially fatal risk exists in flight control at critical phases and low altitude, the FAA needs to be informed.

                    Obviously, when a such a system is introduced to an existing airframe, pilots need to be informed and trained to handle it.

                    And of course...

                    Obviously, if Boeing had properly developed the 737NG into the 737 MAX, a new SIM and new type certification would have been required.

                    Obviously, were that the case, Boeing, in the spot they left themselves, would not have been able to compete with Airbus in the narrow body market for at least five years.

                    And lastly...

                    Obviously, a future vision requires investment.

                    Obviously, reinvesting revenue into new airframe developments diminishes year-on-year profits and thus erodes the share value of company stock in a casinoesque climate of short-term investors.

                    Obviously, when a great portion of your compensation comes in the form of company stock and your wealth is measured accordingly, as is the wealth of those who appointed you, the price of those shares becomes a corrupting factor in your decision-making.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      "Obviously, if Boeing had properly developed the 737NG into the 737 MAX, a new SIM and new type certification would have been required."

                      This is the gibberish that comes from someone that has no idea of how the real world works. Maybe you better stick with the bicycle!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by BoeingBobby View Post
                        "Obviously, if Boeing had properly developed the 737NG into the 737 MAX, a new SIM and new type certification would have been required."

                        This is the gibberish that comes from someone that has no idea of how the real world works. Maybe you better stick with the bicycle!
                        From page 13 of the Inspector General's Feb 23 2021 report into the FAA's certification of the Max:

                        "While FAA’s regulations do not contain a limit on the number or types of exceptions that can be granted .. agency officials stated that one of their lessons learned from the certification of the MAX is the need to limit the exceptions that it grants ... According to Boeing, the inclusion of such a system would have ... jeopardized maintaining the same type rating between the 737 MAX and the 737 NG. The FAA Director of System Oversight told us that his office plans to work with manufacturers to limit exceptions for future amended type certification projects when manufacturers request them for their projects, and has already done so on an aircraft currently undergoing certification"

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by flashcrash View Post

                          From page 13 of the Inspector General's Feb 23 2021 report into the FAA's certification of the Max:

                          "While FAA’s regulations do not contain a limit on the number or types of exceptions that can be granted .. agency officials stated that one of their lessons learned from the certification of the MAX is the need to limit the exceptions that it grants ... According to Boeing, the inclusion of such a system would have ... jeopardized maintaining the same type rating between the 737 MAX and the 737 NG. The FAA Director of System Oversight told us that his office plans to work with manufacturers to limit exceptions for future amended type certification projects when manufacturers request them for their projects, and has already done so on an aircraft currently undergoing certification"
                          Seemed to work fine for the transition to the -8 from the 400, but what do I know.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The following ones are not so obvious to me:

                            Originally posted by Evan View Post
                            Obviously, asking engineers to find a way out of this dilemma without triggering a new type certification was going to involve some risky and dubious legerdemain.

                            Obviously, when a such a system is introduced to an existing airframe, pilots need to be informed and trained to handle it.

                            Obviously, if Boeing had properly developed the 737NG into the 737 MAX, a new SIM and new type certification would have been required.
                            I think that Boeing could have designed the MAX from the beginning with a sound MCAS (like the one it has now) and it would have been very safe, competitive against the NEO (especially for airlines already operating the NG) and same type and differences training would have been enough.

                            Even taking greed into account, it is not understandable (to me) why the MCAS was designed and approved the way it was.

                            --- Judge what is said by the merits of what is said, not by the credentials of who said it. ---
                            --- Defend what you say with arguments, not by imposing your credentials ---

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Gabriel View Post
                              The following ones are not so obvious to me:



                              I think that Boeing could have designed the MAX from the beginning with a sound MCAS (like the one it has now) and it would have been very safe, competitive against the NEO (especially for airlines already operating the NG) and same type and differences training would have been enough.

                              Even taking greed into account, it is not understandable (to me) why the MCAS was designed and approved the way it was.
                              My guess: desperation, pressure, deadlines, momentum and fear of speaking up. Toxic cultures are often precipitated by toxic management decisions that result in operations bordering on chaos. More baffling to me is what upper management was thinking when they killed the Y2 program and replaced it with nothing. I mean, I know what they were thinking short term, but the NEO was coming, the ultrafans were coming, they were going to arrive to market and Boeing should have at least lengthened and relocated the main gear on the 737 (better yet, they should have produced a shortened and lowered 757 MAX, or ideally something clean sheet akin to a narrow-body 787). But that would have required new type certification and Boeing sat on their hands until there was no longer time for that. And then it became a sort of Apollo 13 scenario: what do we have, what can we do with it? Nobody at NASA raised the issue of redundancy when they were scrambling to cobble together hoses and duct tape. Do you get me?

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