On Saturday morning (January 11, 2019), I glanced at the front page of the Wall Street Journal that I held in my hand as I walked up the driveway to my house:
“MAX Chatter at Boeing Undercuts Its Public Stance”.
The first line:
“Striking internal messages released this week by Boeing Co. have undercut many of the plane maker’s defenses of its design and marketing decisions for the beleaguered 737 MAX jet.”
In the words of the Dallas Morning News:
“Boeing employees knew about problems with flight simulators for the now-grounded 737 Max and apparently tried to hide them from federal regulators, according to documents released Thursday.”
Of course, what’s most important here is the tragic fact of two crashes immediately on take-off, less than five months apart, and the deaths of 346 people. But along with profound human loss are this catastrophe’s devastating legal consequences for the Boeing Company.
And these legal problems posed by release of these documents arose before any attorney became involved with the acts, omissions, and representations to Boeing’s customers and regulators that those documents describe.
The legal profession, for the most part, does not emphasize prevention.