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Plane Maker Could Face More Lawsuits Despite Plea Deal, Curtis Says

July 8, 2024

White Collar Defense & Investigations partner Deborah Curtis was recently quoted in The National article, “Can the US allow Boeing to fail?” The story discusses Boeing’s anticipated response to a plea deal in a criminal fraud trial. The case involves the plane maker’s alleged violations of a deferred prosecution agreement linked to two fatal crashes.

Curtis told The National that even if Boeing accepts the plea deal – which the article notes would ensure it avoids a criminal trial – the plane maker “could likely face a lot more lawsuits...” One of the most severe punishments Boeing could face is suspension or debarment from U.S. government contracts, which Curtis said the government “can do now.” However, she noted there could still be workarounds because Boeing is viewed as a “compelling national interest.”

Taking into account Boeing’s position in the supply chain and economy, Curtis said that she does not think prosecutors will ”create a situation where there are unintended [negative] effects on the US economy, or on the global economy, or on the supply chain for aircraft.” She also asked, “If other countries and airlines are relying on [Boeing] for their planes, where's that capacity going to come from to build those planes?”

Read the full article.