|In re The Boeing Company Aircraft Securities Litigation
|United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
|Honorable John J. Tharp Jr.
Public Employees’ Retirement System of Mississippi, City of Warwick Retirement System, William C. Houser, Bret E. Taggart, & Robert W. Kegley Sr.
|The Boeing Company, Dennis A. Muilenburg, and Gregory D. Smith
|November 7, 2018 through December 16, 2019, inclusive
This securities fraud class action arises out of Boeing’s alleged misstatements and concealment of the significant safety issues with its 737 MAX airliner, which caused two horrific plane crashes. In 2011, under pressure after its main competitor developed a fuel-efficient jet, Boeing announced its own fuel-efficient jet, the 737 MAX. In its rush to get the MAX to market, Boeing deliberately concealed safety risks with its updated airliner from regulators. On October 29, 2018, the 737 MAX being flown by Lion Air malfunctioned and crashed, killing 189 people. While Boeing repeatedly assured the public that the 737 MAX was safe to fly, internally, the Company was quietly overhauling the airliner’s systems in an attempt to reduce the risk of another fatal malfunction. Despite Boeing’s reassurances to the public, on March 10, 2019 another 737 MAX, this time operated by Ethiopian Airlines, experienced malfunctions before crashing and killing 157 people.
Even as regulators and Congress investigated the crashes, throughout the Class Period, Boeing continued to convey to the public that the 737 MAX would return to operation while covering up the full extent of the airliner’s safety issues. In December 2019, Boeing finally announced it would suspend production of the 737 MAX, causing the dramatic decline of Boeing’s stock price and significant losses and damages to shareholders. Since the 737 MAX catastrophe, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has initiated a civil fraud investigation and the U.S. Department of Justice has initiated a criminal investigation into Boeing’s fraudulent conduct.
In February 2020, a Consolidated Class Action Complaint was filed on behalf of a putative class of investors. The complaint alleges Boeing and its former executives—including former President, CEO, and Chairman of the Board Dennis Muilenburg and CFO Gregory Smith—violated Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act by making false and misleading statements regarding the fatal safety issues with its 737 MAX airliner. The complaint additionally alleges violations of Section 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act against Dennis Muilenburg and Gregory Smith as controlling persons liable for the false and misleading statements made by Boeing.
On August 23, 2022, the Court issued an Opinion and Order denying and granting in part the Defendants’ motion to dismiss, finding Plaintiffs had sufficiently pled claims against Defendants Boeing and Mueilenburg. The case is now in fact discovery.
Read Consolidated Class Action Complaint Here
Read Opinion and Order Denying and Granting in Part Motion to Dismiss Here