The first thing Boeing does when sued for a crash on foreign soil is try to get those lawsuits moved out of the US and into the foreign countries. In the case of the 737 Max cases, it means trying to move them to Indonesia and Ethiopia. If Boeing’s successful, the cases would be virtually worthless and the families would get next to nothing.
The legal doctrine that Boeing relies on is called forum non conveniens. I’ve written about Boeing’s “FNC” strategy most recently here. And then I gave an interview explaining the strategy to Business Insider reporter Sinead Baker in London, who published an article in June. She took particular note of my comment that “having a trial in another country with a different legal culture, and less scope for close scrutiny of Boeing, would render the case worthless.”
Last week Boeing’s CEO, Dennis Muilenburg, testified before Congress. When asked whether Boeing was seeking to move the cases out of the country, the best he could come up with was “Congressman, I can’t comment on that. I’m just not familiar with the details of that. . . I don’t know the answer.”
Representative Peter De Fazio, the committee chairman, was incredulous. He hammered the CEO. The Congressman pointed to the Business Insider article, and specifically referred to my comments about the cases being “worthless” in another country.
This took me 30 seconds with Google search. June 13th, Business Insider. . . And you don’t that that’s happening?”
Read the transcript or watch the exchange at the Business Insider follow-up article.