New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, as trustee of the New York State Common Retirement Fund (the Fund), and the Fire and Police Pension Association of Colorado (FPPA) announced that they have been appointed co-lead plaintiffs in a derivative lawsuit filed against current and former directors and executive officers of The Boeing Company. The order appointing DiNapoli and FPPA as co-lead plaintiffs was issued on August 3 by Delaware Chancery Court Chancellor Andre G. Bouchard.
DiNapoli and FPPA filed suit against current and former members of Boeing’s Board of Directors and executive officers 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. The complaint alleges 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.
"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. “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.”
Dan Slack, Executive Director of the Fire and Police Pension Association of Colorado added, “FPPA takes the governance of the corporations in which it invests very seriously. 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.”
Comptroller DiNapoli and FPPA are represented in this action by Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP and Delaware counsel Friedlander & Gorris, P.A.
New York State’s pension fund and FPPA held shares of Boeing valued at approximately $275 million as of June 8, 2020.
About the New York State Common Retirement Fund
The New York State Common Retirement Fund is the third largest public pension fund in the United States with assets of $194.3 billion as of March 31, 2020. The Fund holds and invests the assets of the New York State and Local Retirement System on behalf of more than one million state and local government employees and retirees and their beneficiaries. The Fund has consistently been ranked as one of the best managed and best funded plans in the nation. The Fund's fiscal year ends March 31.
About the FPPA
The Fire and Police Pension Association of Colorado (FPPA) administers retirement benefits and invests pension assets for firefighters and police officers throughout the State of Colorado. FPPA has assets of $6 billion as of March 31, 2020. FPPA’s statewide plan continues a fully funded status.