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  • 43

Boeing, Southwest Airlines Sued for Alleged Collusion Over 737 MAX 8

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Southwest Airlines Co. and The Boeing Co. were hit with a lawsuit by Southwest customers who say the companies colluded to hide a fatal design defect in Boeing’s 737 MAX 8 aircraft. The complaint, filed July 11 in a federal court in Texas under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, alleges Southwest obtained profits through a collusive relationship with Boeing, its sole airplane supplier. (news.bloomberglaw.com) More...

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RJBrown409
Randy Brown 17
This article says more about the state of the legal system and the abuses by the trial lawyers than about airplanes.
MickLucas
William Lucas 1
Couldn't agree more! Some of these would have complained about flights being cancelled by the airline due to the fault being discovered! Just like the idiots who demand a plane takes of in dense fog with a foot of snow on the wings!!!!
jkabrajee1
James Kabrajee 0
Amen!
Quirkyfrog
Robert Cowling 14
Seems like a long shot. But if there was collusion, that's pretty damning for Southwest, and Boeing.

Imagine Southwest knowing about the problem with the Max, and not telling their pilots. Wow...
jmadunleavy
John D 3
I was thinking the same thing.
Mikedryden
Mike Dryden 0
The gist seems to be not that much different between the legal battles on a global level: Emirates getting government support to swamp the world, thus obtaining profits, Boeing getting preference on X government requirement, thus obtaining profits, Airbus getting Y government support thus obtaining profits.

This could take years and the complainants will run out of cash to fund it before SW/Boeing does.
raleedy
ALLAN LEEDY 6
Southwest clearly complicit, having extracted a penalty of hundreds of millions of dollars if it turns out pilot training is required. That’s why MCAS was concealed from pilots even to the point of eliminating redundancy and disagree light.
kalirick
Rick Hunt 13
Let's assume it is all true. What are the damages to customers? I don't recall a Southwest plane crashing. Like to or not that is how a court will look at the lawsuit.
btweston
btweston 6
Violations of RICO, fraud, negligent misrepresentation, unjust enrichment, and negligence.
gsergienko
Greg Sergienko 3
If by "customers" Rick Hunt meant "passengers"--that's what I was asusming--there's still a problem with showing damages. If "customers" means the airlines--not what this complaint alleges--they might well have a RICO complaint against Boeing. For a variety of reasons, I don't think it likely that such a complaint would be filed.
Ricovandijk
Rico van Dijk 2
Nah, no one violated me ;)
JMARTINSON
JMARTINSON 2
Case dismissed.
wiztom
Thomas Scally 2
I doubt a judge will even certify the class.
watkinssusan
rick..i am not an attorney,but a class action lawsuit is the right of passengers who have been flying on southwest,prior to the announcement about the max 737,as their fleet is totally boeing 737,both the older model and the max..there have already been reports the faa did not do thorough inspections of the aircraft before certifying it as airworthy on all counts and able to be put into service..if it can be proven with evidenciary information to a court,that boeing knowingly sold the airplane with defects,and southwest knowingly bought them,as well as bringing in the faa overlooks,the lawsuit will go forward..it also was reported that boeing stated the computer program in question was considerd an "option" for an individual carrier to purchase with the aircraft,or not,and it was not put on all that were being manufactured..a judge will decide if the lawsuit can go through or will be dismissed for whatever reason...
wiztom
Thomas Scally 1
There has to be real damages. Fundamental of law.
MickLucas
William Lucas 1
If the FAA knew, then THEY are the one's who should be sued for failing to take action!
SpaceRanger
Ultimately, the only people who are gonna make any money off this airplane are the attorneys.
raleedy
ALLAN LEEDY 0
Some crash victims will score.
gsergienko
Greg Sergienko 4
All the people on the plans are dead, so they're not scoring.

Few, if any, of the family members will recover an amount that approximates their loss. Where the damages are large, the survivors are under pressure to settle to replace the lost earnings immediately. Boeing, the airlines, and their insurers will present a united front and wait.

From news reports, it seems that some family members have given up their rights for relatively small amounts. In a case like this, they may not even recover their provable economic losses.

Depending on what law applies, there may be recoveries for psychological injuries to survivors, but juries are skeptical about this.
LethalThreat
LethalThreat 10
Man, now this is one crazy conspiracy theory. People just want free money nowaydays.
jamesmmurdock
James Murdock 3
If you count class action lawyers as "people"... The humans in the class will typically get a bit under $1 each.
steerts
Southwest kept the MCAS system a big secret? That would be like management saying "Let's see how many pilots crash before they figure it out". Is that what they are saying?
pilotjag
pilotjag 3
Copy of the complaint filed against Boeing and WN can be found below...
https://www.bloomberglaw.com/public/desktop/document/COMPLAINTagainstAllDefendantsFilingfee400receiptnumber05407344215?1562935133
sandro98
sandro98 3
I'm not overly familiar with how complaints normally look, but reading through the first few pages seems like it was completed so people would have headlines to reference in the future, but nothing that seems actually a concern...
gsergienko
Greg Sergienko 6
That's a pretty typical drafting style for a high-profile case like this. Collusion complaints are easy to make, but since the Supreme Court's decisions in Twombly and Iqbal, the plaintiffs will have to have evidence that goes beyond multiple defendants acting separately in their common interest. Unless the plaintiffs come up with this, the case will be dismissed before the defendants even have to answer.
JMARTINSON
JMARTINSON 5
If this is typical drafting style for a high-profile case, I'll just assume court filings for the less notable cases are written in crayon.

"Like a tale from some science fiction dystopia, a computer system the crew knew nothing about had taken control of the airplane and crashed it"

I did not scroll back up to see if the first paragraph started out with "It was a dark and stormy night". I don't want to know.
gsergienko
Greg Sergienko 2
Nah, it's just that they're hoping to attract headlines. That's somewhat likely with a case like this but not with others.
gregmermel
Greg Mermel 3
Note the venue carefully: Federal Court for the EASTERN District of Texas - not NORTHERN District, where Southwest's Dallas headquarters are located.

The Eastern District used to be notorious for inviting "patent troll" litigation
https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2017-05-25/the-texas-town-that-patent-trolls-built-j34rlmjc
https://www.texasmonthly.com/politics/patently-unfair/

and still has a reputation as a friendly venue for dubious cases
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/24/us/politics/texas-judge-obamacare.html
phowry
Phil Howry 3
It's a sad commentary on our society to believe people and/or organizations would knowingly/intentionally put human lives at risk merely for a profit motive.

The FAA, Southwest Airlines and Boeing are not in business to put people's lives in danger, that's a shameful and absurd accusation whether you call it "collusion" or not. Good hardworking Americans work for these entities and fly on these aircraft. What is the incentive for a company not to have every employee's safety their number one goal and concern at all times.

This lawsuit should be dismissed by the court and the attorneys sued for wasting the courts time with a frivolous lawsuit.
phowry
Phil Howry 3
Wow, the term collusion has captivated the legal community.

Is there a possibility of "collusion" among the plaintiff and defense attorneys in this country? We have no domestic accident or incident involving a Boeing "Max 8" and yet "Southwest customers" allege collusion. Now, how would a customer(s) base know anything about the deep internal workings/dealings between any airline and their manufacturer?

Could it be investigating government agency attorneys/staff are leaking information (i.e., colluding) with their attorney acquaintances to hoodwink so-called "customers" to get involved for a potential big payoff?

This smells.
BobWysocki
this may break the camel's back, Boeing will start laying off
ebrites
scott ebrite 5
So, just how did SW flight crews manage to fly the MAX "without training" and not scratch or bend them up?
judgepate
RC Pate 5
Laughable.
paulgilpin1953
paul gilpin 2
why is the FAA not mentioned?
because the trial judge is part of the legal community.
let's just give the FAA a pass.
again.
redelmo
redelmo 3
What?!? Oh ya. It’s a huge coverup because southwest buys Boeing planes. What a stupid lawsuit. Making crap up to sue? This country’s justice system is ridiculous.
nemosteve1080i
nemosteve1080i 2
I see nothing wrong with WN wanting an all Boeing 737 fleet. This allows efficiencies with training, maintenance, & staffing. In my career field, my employer tries to keep the equipment pool to a few manufacturers - Sony for HD cameras, Grass Valley for vision mixers, and EVS for record/playback servers. When my employer acquires a company with different gear, they do effort to upgrade to the afore mentioned manufacturers.

As far as WN having rushed the Boeing MAX8/9 into service, perhaps WN's management thought their "preferred customer" status was a little to cozy with Boeing? WN's greed to squeeze in 6 more seats or add a few hundred Km to aircraft range has come back to bite them.
Jackx9
Don Quixote -1
Rushed? How was it rushed, tell every other airline that has a MAX then. Southwest knows what they're doing.
btweston
btweston 1
You really don’t read the news, do you?
JMARTINSON
JMARTINSON 0
You mean the news that tells us it was rushed rather than tell us how long it took compared to the average or typical and let us draw our own conclusions. That news?
btweston
btweston -7
Are you Boeing’s mom?
JMARTINSON
JMARTINSON 3
If I was your mom I'd ground you for a month.
onetell99
Philip Taylor 1
Might be safer all round! 😂
onetell99
Philip Taylor 1
What have the pilots to say about this?
bryantmook
Bryant Mook 1
The attorneys must need to buy a new Bentley or the like. They are always looking for a sleezy way to make a dime (of coarse with public safety in mind, yea right) Albeit, Boeing management are more interested in the bottom line than listening to their own engineers. Their CEO ceased being a real engineer when he put profits ahead of safety.
pilot1943
John Lessard 1
Is Panda Express an airline?
pilot1943
John Lessard 1
Well knock me down and blow me. Who would have thought that. Just when I thought the industry was honest.
gcottay
George Cottay 1
Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht, the litigation boutique running the suit, is relatively new but very ambitious and working hard at rapid expansion. They style themselves as the next generation of litigation excellence. The firm is also gaining experience in defense. Donald Lewis, a former partner is claiming founder and managing partner John Pierce built the 2-year-old firm on “smoke and mirrors,” duping incoming partners about its prospects and misusing money from litigation funder Pravati Capital to prop up the firm and to cover Pierce’s own improper expenses. As evidence of mismanagement, Lewis notes that name partner Jim Bainbridge was one of several defendants who settled with the Federal Trade Commission in 1996 for a telemarketing scheme.
bryantmook
Bryant Mook 1
What do you expect from a snake pit?
aviater1
curtis brake 1
Too big to fail nobody to jail!
Jackx9
Don Quixote -7
Oh! Another Anti-Being article! If it ain't Boeing, I ain't going. Screw you Airbus! I'm never going to be a sidestick kind of guy.
btweston
btweston 9
Um, no. This is an article reporting something that has happened.

Calm down.

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