Employment gains continue as economy adds more than 200k jobs

KLH49/Getty Images

(WASHINGTON) — The economy appears to be holding steady, with the arrival of the Labor Department’s latest jobs report.

Employers hired 206,000 workers in June, making for 42 consecutive months of growth, according to new data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Still, the unemployment rate ticked higher to 4.1%, reaching that level for the first time since November 2021.

The strongest gains last month, occurred in government as well as the health care, social assistance and construction industries. 

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Hatch Baby recalls nearly 1 million sound machine adapters due to shock hazard

United States Consumer Product Safety Commission

(NEW YORK) — This story has been corrected to specify that the power adapters are being recalled.

Hatch, a popular sleep aid device company, has recalled more than 900,000 Rest 1st Generation sound machine adapters due to a shock hazard.

“In partnership and compliance with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Hatch has issued a voluntary recall for power adapters issued with some Hatch Rest 1st generation devices, which were primarily sold between 2019 and 2022,” the company stated in an online recall notice.

“The recall is specific to power adapters issued by Jiangsu Chenyang Electron Co. after learning that the white housing of these power adapters can come off when removing them from the power outlet, leaving the power prongs exposed and posing a shock hazard to consumers,” the statement continued.

Hatch added on its website, “The company is pursuing this recall voluntarily as part of its commitment to consumer safety and incident prevention.”

Details of recall

About 919,400 products have been impacted by the recall, according to the CPSC.

The affected power adapters, which have a white rectangular plastic housing that plugs directly into the wall socket, bear the model number CYAP05 050100U.

“The model number, amps ‘1.0A,’ ‘Jiangsu Chenyang Electron Co. LTD,’ and ‘Made in China’ are printed in black near the prongs on the power adapter,” the CPSC stated. “The power adapter was not sold separately.”

Incidents reported

As of time of publication, Hatch said it has “received 19 reports of the plastic housing surrounding the AC power adapter coming off, including two reports of consumers who experienced a minor electrical shock.”
Where recalled products were sold

The Rest 1st Generation sound machines were sold online directly from the Hatch website and Amazon, as well as at BuyBuyBaby, Target, Walmart, Nordstrom, Pottery Barn Kids and BestBuy stores nationwide from January 2019 through September 2022.

What consumers can do if they have a recalled product

“Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled power adapters sold with Rest 1st Generation sound machines, and contact Hatch for a free replacement power adapter,” CPSC stated. “Consumers should unplug the cord, cut the cord on the recalled power adapter, take a photo of the adapter showing the model number and the cut cord, upload the photo, and provide their name and mailing address at www.hatch.co/adapterrecall.”

The agency added, “Hatch is contacting all registered owners directly.”

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Hatch Baby recalls nearly one million sound machines due to shock hazard

United States Consumer Product Safety Commission

(NEW YORK) — Hatch, a popular sleep aid device company, has recalled more than 900,000 of its Rest 1st Generation sound machines due to a shock hazard.

“In partnership and compliance with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Hatch has issued a voluntary recall for power adapters issued with some Hatch Rest 1st generation devices, which were primarily sold between 2019 and 2022,” the company stated in an online recall notice.

“The recall is specific to power adapters issued by Jiangsu Chenyang Electron Co. after learning that the white housing of these power adapters can come off when removing them from the power outlet, leaving the power prongs exposed and posing a shock hazard to consumers,” the statement continued.

Hatch added on its website, “The company is pursuing this recall voluntarily as part of its commitment to consumer safety and incident prevention.”

Details of Hatch sound machine recall

About 919,400 products have been impacted by the recall, according to the CPSC.

The affected power adapters, which have a white rectangular plastic housing that plugs directly into the wall socket, bear the model number CYAP05 050100U.

“The model number, amps ‘1.0A,’ ‘Jiangsu Chenyang Electron Co. LTD,’ and ‘Made in China’ are printed in black near the prongs on the power adapter,” the CPSC stated. “The power adapter was not sold separately.”

Incidents reported due to Hatch sound machines

As of time of publication, Hatch said it has “received 19 reports of the plastic housing surrounding the AC power adapter coming off, including two reports of consumers who experienced a minor electrical shock.”

Where recalled Hatch products were sold

The Rest 1st Generation sound machines were sold online directly from the Hatch website and Amazon, as well as at BuyBuyBaby, Target, Walmart, Nordstrom, Pottery Barn Kids and BestBuy stores nationwide from January 2019 through September 2022.

What consumers can do if they have a recalled Hatch sound machine

“Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled power adapters sold with Rest 1st Generation sound machines, and contact Hatch for a free replacement power adapter,” CPSC stated. “Consumers should unplug the cord, cut the cord on the recalled power adapter, take a photo of the adapter showing the model number and the cut cord, upload the photo, and provide their name and mailing address at www.hatch.co/adapterrecall.”

The agency added, “Hatch is contacting all registered owners directly.”

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

More than 4,000 pounds of liquid eggs recalled from nine states

USDA

(NEW YORK) — More than 4,600 pounds of liquid egg products have been pulled from shelves due to “misbranding and undeclared allergens.”

Michael Foods Inc. has issued a recall on approximately 4,620 pounds of liquid egg products that contained milk, which is a known allergen but was not declared on the product label, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service announced Sunday.

Details about liquid egg recall

“The problem was discovered during a routine carton inventory evaluation. The establishment notified FSIS when it discovered that a limited amount of Whole Egg with Citric Acid cartons was unaccounted for, and there was a corresponding excess of Breakfast Blend Scrambled Egg carton in inventory,” the FSIS stated. “The unaccounted Whole Egg with Citric Acid cartons were inadvertently utilized during a single short Breakfast Blend Scrambled Egg production run. The Breakfast Blend formulation contains an allergen, a dairy ingredient (milk), which is not declared on the Whole Egg with Citric Acid label.”

Recalled liquid egg product information

According to the FSIS, the recalled items were produced June 11, 2024. Impacted products include 32-ounce paperboard cartons containing the name “FAIR MEADOW Foundations WHOLE EGGS with CITRIC ACID” with a use by date of Sept. 16, 2024 (“16 SEP 24” on the carton), and the lot code 4162G.

“This product is packaged within a corrugated case labeled Scrambled Egg Blend with the same use by date and lot code,” the agency stated.

The recalled liquid eggs also bear an establishment number “EST. G1455” inside the USDA mark of inspection, the FSIS said.

Where recalled liquid egg products were sold

According to the FSIS announcement, the recalled products were “shipped to restaurant consignees for institutional use in Alabama, Idaho, Louisiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, Ohio, South Carolina, and Utah.”

What restaurants should do with recalled liquid eggs

The agency said it is “concerned that some product may be in institutional, restaurant refrigerators” and urged those establishments “not to serve these products.”

“These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase,” the recall announcement stated.

As of time of publication, the FSIS stated that there have been “no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products.”

A representative for Michael Foods Inc. did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for additional comment.

“Consumers with questions about the recall can contact Kristina Larsen, Director Customer Service, Michael Foods Inc. at 952-258-4903 or kristina.larsen@michaelfoods.com,” the FSIS said Sunday, adding that those with general food safety questions may “call the toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 888-MPHotline (888-674-6854) or send a question via email to MPHotline@usda.gov.”

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Where is the stock market headed in the 2nd half of 2024?

Andrew Brookes/Getty Images

(NEW YORK) — The stock market defied expectations with a strong performance over the first half of 2024. But the success poses a key question for investors: Is there room for stocks to go even higher?

The S&P 500 climbed nearly 15% over the first six months of the year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed about 4% over that period, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq soared roughly 18%.

Analysts who spoke to ABC News attributed the strong gains to enthusiasm about artificial intelligence as well as resilient economic growth and expectations that interest rates would ease.

But, experts predicted, the stock market will likely struggle to sustain its breakneck growth over the remainder of the year as investors turn away from increasingly high prices and weather uncertainty centered on the economic outlook and the November election.

“It has been a very impressive start to the year,” Adam Turnquist, chief technical strategist at LPL Financial, told ABC news. “But as we look toward the second half, on a short term basis, we think the market is overbought.”

Despite straining under the weight of the highest interest rates in two decades, the U.S. economy has sustained solid growth. Meanwhile, U.S job gains have remained robust, exceeding expectations and driving significant wage increases.

Progress, however, in the fight against inflation has largely stalled. Even so, the Fed has indicated that an additional rate increase is unlikely, instead forecasting one rate cut by the end of 2024.

“The markets have welcomed the fact that we’re likely to see rate cuts,” Turnquist said.

Those wider economic trends have coincided with a burst of investor appetite for tech firms leading the adoption of AI. Major stock indexes drew a bump from investors optimistic about the potential benefits of products like ChatGPT.

Those gains were concentrated primarily in a handful of tech giants, known as the magnificent seven: Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Meta, Microsoft, Tesla and Nvidia. Even within that group, the gains were enjoyed primarily by a select few.

The stock price of Nvidia — the maker of many computer chips driving AI advances — has climbed nearly 150% since the outset of 2024. Microsoft, which owns a major stake in ChatGPT-maker OpenAI, has seen its shares soar more than 20% this year.

“The AI effect has helped market sentiment and deservedly so,” Mike Loukas, CEO of TrueMark Investments, told ABC News. “But a handful of concentrated stocks seem to carry the market at any given time.”

In light of the gangbusters performance at the outset of this year, experts warned that the stock market would likely struggle to sustain the returns. At a basic level, the rise in stock prices that stretches back to last year will eventually reach a point where traders become reluctant to pour in funds at an elevated price tag, the analysts said.

“There needs to be a reset button from these overbought conditions,” Turnquist said.

Even more, the positive trends in the economy face a number of threats. Most notably, the ongoing combination of high interest rates and stubborn inflation could weigh on corporate profits and wear investor patience thin.

“The whole dance — rate cuts or no rate cuts; inflation or no inflation — I think that continues,” Loukas said. “We’re still pretty sensitive as a whole to macroeconomic factors.”

Such economic uncertainty is compounded by a wide range of possible outcomes in the November election, Loukas added.

“The election is going to be a wild variable,” Loukas said. “There’s a lot of uncertainty in what’s happening and the market is still trying to price that in.”

Loukas forecasted growth in the stock market over the remainder of 2024, but he said the pace would fall short of the surge experienced over the first half.

Turnquist, of LPL Financial, echoed that view. The stock market could rise slightly by the end of the year, he said, but companies will weather a more challenging environment.

“There’s still a risk that the battle isn’t over with the Fed,” he added.

Still, Turquist noted, the outlook for the market beyond this year remains favorable. “We’re still in a long-term uptrend,” he said.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

DOJ to present Boeing with plea deal that families of 2018, 2019 crash victims say falls short: Lawyers

Scott Olson/Getty Images

(WASHINGTON) — The Department of Justice is preparing to present the Boeing Company a plea deal that would again allow the aerospace giant to avoid a trial over an alleged conspiracy to defraud the United States, according to attorneys for families of victims of two fatal Boeing 737 Max crashes who were briefed on the department’s plans Sunday afternoon.

Under the proposed deal, Boeing would be required to enter a guilty plea to the conspiracy charge, which was first filed January 2021, for allegedly misleading the FAA during its evaluation of the Boeing 737 Max aircraft. The company must also agree to the appointment of an external corporate monitor, pay a fine of about $200 million and remain on probation for three years, according to lawyers for the families.

During the briefing with the DOJ, family members of the crash victims expressed dissatisfaction with the proposal, according to attorneys representing the families. The families contend that the deal contains no accountability and no admission that Boeing’s alleged conspiracy caused the deaths of 346 people who were killed in the two Max crashes in 2018 and 2019. The victims’ families have been pushing DOJ to take the company to trial and to impose fines upwards of $20 billion.

“The Justice Department is preparing to offer to Boeing another sweetheart plea deal,” wrote attorneys Robert Clifford and Paul Cassell in a statement. “The deal will not acknowledge, in any way, that Boeing’s crime killed 346 people. It also appears to rest on the idea that Boeing did not harm any victim. The families will strenuously object to this plea deal. Judge [Reed] O’Connor [of the Northern District of Texas] will have to decide whether this no-accountability-deal is in the public interest. Indeed, he will have to decide whether to approve [an agreement] that ties his hands at sentencing and prevents him from imposing any additional punishment or remedial measures. The memory of 346 innocents killed by Boeing demands more justice than this.”

According to the statement from Clifford and Cassell, “Glenn Leon, Chief of the Fraud Section of the Criminal Division at the U.S. DOJ, told the group on the call that the DOJ hasn’t shared the new plea agreement with Boeing but would do so later Sunday. [Leon] admitted there is ‘a strong interest’ by the families to go to trial, but he repeatedly said that the DOJ couldn’t prove charges by a reasonable doubt. Families argued over and over for a trial and to allow a jury to make that decision,” the statement said.

Mark Lindquist, another attorney for crash victims’ families, told ABC News that Boeing will be given until the July 7 to accept the deal. If Boeing rejects the terms, the DOJ will pursue prosecution.

“The company would be absolutely brutalized in a highly public trial,” Lindquist said. “Boeing has way too much dirty laundry to risk the bright spotlight of a trial.”

The Department of Justice and Boeing declined to comment.

Clifford and Cassell told the DOJ that the victims’ families “will be traveling from around the world to go to the next hearing before Judge O’Connor in Texas “to fight this,” according to the attorneys’ statement.

The deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) was put into place in the final days of the Trump administration, when the DOJ charged Boeing in a criminal information with one count of conspiracy to defraud the U.S. for allegedly misleading the FAA during the agency’s evaluation of the new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. Over 300 people died in the two MAX crashes — the first in Indonesia in October 2018 and the second five months later in Ethiopia.

Under the terms of that agreement, the DOJ fined Boeing $243.7 million and required the company to pay $1.77 billion in compensation to its airline customers and $500 million to the victims’ beneficiaries. The company was also required to disclose any allegations of fraud, cooperate with the government and avoid committing any felony offense. Under these conditions, the DOJ agreed to defer criminal prosecution for three years.

“I firmly believe that entering into this resolution is the right thing for us to do — a step that appropriately acknowledges how we fell short of our values and expectations,” David Calhoun, Boeing president and CEO, said in a note to employees after the company was charged by the DOJ in 2021. “This resolution is a serious reminder to all of us of how critical our obligation of transparency to regulators is, and the consequences that our company can face if any one of us falls short of those expectations.”

But in May — four months after the door plug fell off Alaska Airlines flight 1281 over Portland, Oregon — the DOJ informed Boeing that the company had failed to live up to its obligations under the DPA.

The DOJ’s determination once again opened Boeing up to possible prosecution on the original charge or “for any federal criminal violation of which the United States has knowledge,” according to a DOJ letter sent last month to U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor, who presides over the criminal case.

Boeing has disputed the DOJ’s finding of a breach in the DPA.

“We believe that we have honored the terms of that agreement, and look forward to the opportunity to respond to the Department on this issue,” the company said in a statement in May.

Nadia Milleron, mother of Samya Rose Stumo, 24, a Massachusetts native who died in the Boeing Max crash in Ethiopia in 2019, spoke to ABC News Sunday after the families of victims were briefed by the DOJ.

“I don’t understand why they’re offering the plea deal. They don’t need to,” Milleron said. “They should just take them to trial.”

Milleron said that Boeing pleading guilty without a trial is “not what the victims want. That’s not what the victims’ families want.”

Milleron said she planned to travel to Fort Worth, Texas, to oppose the plea deal if and when it is presented to the judge.

In a written statement, Javier de Luis, who lost his sister in the 2019 crash, called the deal “inadequate.”

“The issue is not whether there should be trial vs a plea deal. The issue is that the penalties being proposed by the DoJ are totally inadequate both from the perspective of accountability for the crimes committed, and from the perspective of acting in the public interest by ensuring a change in Boeing’s behavior,” read Luis’ statement. “The penalties proposed here are essentially the same as those proposed under the previous DPA which, as Alaska Air demonstrated, did nothing to increase the safety of the flying public.”

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Biden-Trump debate triggers alarm among top business leaders: ‘Awful’

David Berding/Getty Images

(WASHINGTON) — Some of the nation’s top business and labor leaders voiced alarm in the hours following the presidential debate on Thursday night, as some raised concern about President Joe Biden’s age and others questioned former President Donald Trump’s fitness for office.

Prominent figures who already held misgivings about Biden seized on his debate performance and doubt whether Biden can handle the demands of a second term. Even allies of Biden stopped short of praising his performance, including some who entertained the possibility of replacing Biden at the top of the Democratic ticket.

Some leaders of companies and labor unions, on the other hand, sharply criticized a dearth of policy and a stream of falsehoods issued by Trump during the 90-minute event. Among them, some reaffirmed their support for Biden.

Billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban, who attended a Biden fundraiser in March, said in a statement on X that both candidates performed poorly. The display elicited enough worry about Biden that Cuban is now open to a discussion about him stepping aside, Cuban added, noting that he would vote for Biden if he remains the nominee.

“His performance was awful. But so was Trump’s,” Cuban said. “Biden was feeble. Trump couldn’t directly answer a single question.”

The Biden campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment from ABC News. Neither did the Trump campaign.

Within 10 minutes of the start of the debate, Biden-friendly CEOs began sending panicked emails and text messages, Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, a professor at Yale University who keeps close contact with executives, told ABC News.

Some CEOs, who had spoken with Biden as recently as last month at a fundraiser in Greenwich, Connecticut, felt “completely weirded out” watching a candidate who appeared much less capable, Sonnenfeld said.

In all, Sonnenfeld said he has heard alarm from about 30 CEOs at private and public companies since the debate, saying they’ve used terms like “fear, nausea and distress” in response to Biden’s performance.

More than half of the CEOs said that Biden should end his presidential campaign and allow another Democrat to run, Sonnenfeld said, noting that the urgency among them was fueled in part by “revulsion toward Trump.”

“They were so horrified by the force and volume of Trump’s demonstrable lies,” Sonnenfeld said. “That only intensified their hostility toward the prospect of a second Trump candidacy.”

Meanwhile, some Trump supporters across Silicon Valley and Wall Street said Biden’s performance reaffirmed their allegiance.

“Tonight was an indictment of the Democratic Party,” Bill Ackman, a billionaire hedge fund manager, said on X. “How could they? Did they think they could pull one over on the American people?”

David Saks, a high-profile venture capitalist who has endorsed Trump, similarly questioned Biden’s capacity in a post on X.

“If Biden can’t handle a debate, how can he handle the most dangerous foreign policy situation since the Cuban Missile Crisis?” Saks said. “It’s time to pull back from the brink.”

By contrast, labor leaders supportive of Biden stopped short of praising his debate performance but emphasized the shortcomings of Trump.

“Donald Trump once again showed himself to be a scab, a liar, and a billionaire who will never stand with the working class,” Shawn Fain, the president of the United Autoworkers, which has endorsed Biden, told ABC News in a statement.

Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, which also endorsed Biden, echoed such criticism of Trump.

“Joe Biden’s performance might not have matched his performance as president, but he tried to get the facts out and lay down his vision for the country — while Donald Trump told the same lies over and over and was rarely held to account by the moderators,” Weingarten said.

On the campaign trail, Biden and Trump have promoted competing agendas for the U.S. economy.

Biden has vowed to raise taxes on large corporations and wealthy people, while Trump has promised to renew a tax cut measure from his first term in an effort to spur economic activity.

Trump has frequently criticized Biden for the nation’s yearslong bout of elevated inflation. For his part, Biden has acknowledged that price increases remain too high but he has touted significant progress in bringing inflation down well below its peak.

In the aftermath of the debate, many prominent CEOs and labor leaders opted to forego public statements.

Dean Phillips, an entrepreneur and an opponent of Biden in the Democratic primary, drew attention to his own muted response.

“Speak only if it improves upon the silence,” Phillips said in a post on X, attributing the phrase to anti-colonial Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Taco Bell adds new $7 Luxe Cravings Box to fast food value meal craze

Taco Bell

(NEW YORK) — Wendy’s has long offered a $5 meal deal, but newcomers like McDonald’s and Burger King have prompted an influx of fast food companies vying for customers’ attention and appetites.

Now, Taco Bell is the latest chain bringing more affordability to the table.

The California-based Mexican-inspired fast-food chain announced the launch of its $7 Luxe Cravings Box on Thursday, which includes a Chalupa Supreme, Beefy 5-Layer Burrito, Double Stacked Taco, chips and nacho cheese sauce, and a medium drink.

This limited-time offer gives customers a 55% discount off the suggested individual menu prices, according to Taco Bell.

The company said it created the new combo box “to satisfy fans’ hunger with quality, full-sized fan favorites at an affordable price.”

Taylor Montgomery, chief marketing officer for Taco Bell North America, said in a statement, “With the launch of the $7 Luxe Cravings Box, we’re giving consumers our most craveable items at an affordable price point and living up to our commitment on value to satisfy cravings with fan favorite full-sized menu items. Our Cravings Value Menu is one of the leading value menus within the industry, offering 10 items at under $3, because we believe consumers shouldn’t have to choose between affordability and abundance.”

In addition to McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King and now Taco Bell, Subway also recently launched a new value menu item, the new $3 Footlong Dippers.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Walgreens to close ‘significant’ number of struggling US stores, CEO says

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

(NEW YORK) — Walgreens plans to close a large share of its U.S. stores over the next three years, Chief Executive Tim Wentworth said on a conference call with industry analysts on Thursday.

Wentworth described a quarter of the company’s 8,500 stores as “underperforming,” saying the health care giant would close a “significant portion” of those locations. The exact number of closures is still being finalized, Wentworth said.

Walgreens will make changes at the remainder of the struggling stores in an effort to revitalize them, Wentworth said. “We will continue to consider closure if they don’t improve,” he added.

The announcement arrives nearly seven months after the company embarked on a wide-ranging review of the business in response to flagging consumer spending and adverse changes in the pharmacy industry.

“Everything has been on the table,” Wentworth said. “We are at a point where the current pharmacy model is unsustainable.”

The company reported $28.5 billion in revenue over the three months ending in May, which amounted to a slight increase compared to the same period a year ago, an earnings release on Thursday showed. The results nevertheless underperformed expectations, the company said.

The recent struggles for the company’s U.S. business have stemmed in part from price-conscious customers fatigued by a yearslong bout of elevated prices that have strained household budgets.

“Our customers have become increasingly selective and price-sensitive in their purchases,” Wentworth said.

Walgreens has slashed prices on many of its products this year, keeping pace with discounts at other major retail chains like Target and McDonald’s. Last month, Walgreens announced discounts for 1,300 of its products, enticing customers with lower prices for many items, including miniature pretzels to coolers to gummy vitamins.

Lower prices have triggered some additional customer spending but have hurt the company’s profit margins, Walgreens Boots Alliance CFO Manmohan Mahajan said on Thursday’s conference call.

The company is also facing challenges within the pharmacy industry due to costly regulations and insufficient reimbursements, Wentworth said. He pointed to the relationship between the company and third-party pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs, which act as intermediaries between insurance companies and pharmacies.

“We continue to have active discussions with PBM and supplier partners,” Wentworth said.

Walgreens will seek to minimize layoffs and retain workers as it cuts stores, Wentworth said. “We intended to redeploy the vast majority of the workforce at the stores we close,” he added.

The company, based in Deerfield, Illinois, employs about 240,000 people nationwide. In 2021, the company raised the minimum wage for staff to $15 per hour.

On Thursday, Walgreens lowered financial expectations for the forthcoming quarter. Still, Wentworth said he remains optimistic about the company’s future.

“I’m at Walgreens today because I believe in the future of retail pharmacy and particularly our future,” he said. “Human-to-human interaction is an imperative in healthcare and the core foundation of our business.”

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

NTSB sanctions Boeing for ‘blatantly’ violating agreement by sharing non-public investigation details

Signage outside a Boeing office building in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., on Thursday, May 5, 2022. (Eric Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

(NEW YORK) — Boeing will be subject to sanctions for disclosing non-public information about an investigation into how a door plug blew out of one of its 737 Max 9 planes, the National Transportation Safety Board said on Thursday.

Officials accused the airplane manufacturer of “blatantly” violating a signed agreement with the NTSB, under which the company has party status to investigation information that hasn’t otherwise been made public.

“During a media briefing Tuesday about quality improvements at Boeing Commercial Airplanes, a Boeing executive provided investigative information and gave an analysis of factual information previously released,” the NTSB said in a press release.

The released added, “Both of these actions are prohibited by the party agreement that Boeing signed when it was offered party status by the NTSB at the start of the investigation.”

NTSB officials opened an investigation in January after a door plug fell off an Alaska Airlines plane, a Boeing 737 Max 9, shortly after the aircraft took off from Portland International Airport.

The company will retain its party status, but will no longer have access to investigation details, NTSB said.

During a media event on Tuesday, company executives said the NTSB investigation amounted to a search for the person who was responsible for the faulty door plug, according to the NTSB.

“The NTSB is instead focused on the probable cause of the accident, not placing blame on any individual or assessing liability,” officials said in the press release.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.