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Fire and Police Pension Association of Colorado is a lead plaintiff in lawsuit against Boeing

The Fire and Police Pension Association (FPPA) of Colorado has been appointed as a lead plaintiff in a shareholder lawsuit filed against current and former members of Boeing’s Board of Directors and executive officers of the embattled aerospace company.

The FPPA and New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, also a lead plaintiff, filed a derivative lawsuit against Boeing leadership on June 12, alleging that “they breached their fiduciary duties to the company by dismantling Boeing’s lauded safety-engineering corporate culture in favor of what became a financial-engineering corporate culture,” according to a FPPA news release.

On Monday, Delaware Chancery Court Chancellor Andre G. Bouchard appointed the FPPA and DiNapoli as co-lead plaintiffs.

The complaint alleges, according to the release, that Boeing’s Board and officers “woefully abdicated their obligation to monitor safety to the extent it was no longer even a topic of discussion in board meetings, despite numerous safety-related red flags.

“Ultimately, the Board and officers’ consistent disregard for safety resulted in the flawed design of Boeing’s 737 MAX, leading to the tragic deaths of 346 passengers and the grounding of all 737 Max aircraft.”

New York State’s pension fund and FPPA hold shares of Boeing with a combined value of about $194 million as of June 8, 2020.

“Boeing’s Board and officers cut corners and put safety in the back seat, with catastrophic human and financial consequences. Board members and top executives failed in their responsibility to heed the warning signs, leaving Boeing’s finances severely damaged and its once-proud reputation in tatters,” DiNapoli said in the release. “As co-lead plaintiff with our partners, we look forward to this opportunity to hold the company leadership accountable for their derogation of duty to the company and indifference to public safety.”

The FPPA administers retirement benefits and invests pension assets for firefighters and police officers throughout the state and has assets of $6 billion as of March 31, 2020. The FPPA’s statewide plan continues to be a fully funded status, the release said.

“FPPA takes the governance of the corporations in which it invests very seriously,” said Dan Slack, executive director FPPA, in the release. “We are determined and ready to pursue claims of malfeasance against the officers and directors of Boeing. We are excited to work with New York State Comptroller DiNapoli in that pursuit with the goal of strengthening Boeing as a corporation.”

The lead plaintiffs are represented by the national law firm Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP and Delaware counsel Friedlander & Gorris, P.A.

 

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