LOT Polish Airlines (LO, Warsaw Chopin) and Smartwings (Czechia) (QS, Prague Václav Havel) have lost their respective lawsuits against Boeing for compensation for losses sustained during the worldwide grounding of the B737 MAX in 2019 followed two fatal crashes that killed 346 people.

Reuters and Bloomberg report that Judge Reed O'Connor of the US District Court for the Northern District of Texas on February 9 turned down the airlines' separate applications to be ruled victims in the B737 MAX criminal case, which would have made them eligible for compensation. In separate applications, both airlines argued they should have gotten compensation as part of Boeing's plea deal, as other airlines did.

Judge O'Connor also turned down a bid by the relatives and beneficiaries of the victims of the two crashes to reopen or reject Boeing's January 2021 plea deal. The judge ruled he did not have the legal authority to grant their request despite what he called "Boeing's egregious criminal conduct".

The Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) granted Boeing immunity from prosecution in exchange for a USD2.5 billion fine, which included a criminal penalty of USD243.6 million, USD1.77 billion in compensation to B737 MAX airline customers, and USD500 million in compensation to heirs, relatives, and legal beneficiaries of those who died in the two crashes involving a B737-8s of Lion Air in 2018 and Ethiopian Airlines in 2019.

As reported, the beneficiaries petitioned the court to rescind Boeing's current immunity from prosecution, arguing they were not consulted about what they called a "secret, sweetheart deal." In October, Judge O'Connor ruled they were directly harmed by Boeing's conspiracy to defraud the United States and declared crime victims under the US Crime Victims' Rights Act. He arraigned Boeing on the 2021 felony charge, which, on January 26, pleaded not guilty.

"This court has immense sympathy for the victims and loved ones of those who died in the tragic plane crashes resulting from Boeing's criminal conspiracy," O'Connor was quoted in his ruling. "Had Congress vested this court with sweeping authority to ensure that justice is done in a case like this one, it would not hesitate."

Paul Cassell, the families' legal representative, said they were disappointed but planned to appeal.

In September 2022, Boeing paid USD200 million to settle civil charges by the US Securities and Exchange Commission that it misled investors about the safety of the B737 MAX.