The top U.S. transportation official on Wednesday rejected suggestions that regulators deferred to Boeing Co in their initial handling of problems with the 787 Dreamliner passenger jet.

The government did the "right thing for the American people," Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood told an aviation event in Washington. The 787 has been grounded since last week amid a review of battery-related safety incidents.

(Reporting by Jim Wolf; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick)