Alaska Airlines Passengers File Class Action Lawsuit Against Boeing After Critical Door Plug Failure

The sudden loss of the door plug caused the Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft to rapidly depressurize midflight, injuring passengers and forcing an emergency landing.

A recently-filed class action lawsuit seeks to hold Boeing accountable for a mechanical defect aboard Alaska Airlines flight 1282, which blew out a door plug and caused the cabin to rapidly depressurize.

According to CNN, the complaint alleges that “the event physically injured some passengers and emotionally traumatized most if not all aboard.”

“The violence of the event bruised the bodies of some,” the lawsuit states, adding that “passengers were shocked, terrorized and confused, thrust into a waking nightmare, hoping they would live long enough to walk the earth again.”

Attorneys for the passengers now say that Boeing is liable for the incident.

“Boeing is responsible for the safety of design and maintenance instructions as well as continuing airworthiness of the aircraft,” the lawsuit claims, further alleging that Boeing delivered the aircraft to Alaska Airlines without properly fitting the door plug or the bolts and seals used to secure the door.

A gavel. Image via Wikimedia Commons via Flickr/user: Brian Turner. (CCA-BY-2.0).

Boeing C.E.O. David Calhoun has purportedly acknowledged that Boeing may erred in its delivery of the 737 MAX 9, telling workers at a Renton, Washington, factory that the company has admitted that it made a mistake but is committed to ensuring that such an incident “never happen again.”

Although Calhoun may not have intended to concede liability, attorneys for the class have already interpreted the statement as—at the very least—an implicit admission of fault.

“The [National Transportation Safety Board] has yet to pinpoint an exact root cause of Flight 1282’s alarming decompression,” Stritmatter attorney Daniel Laurence said in a statement. “But given Boeing C.E.O. Dave Calhoun’s admission that this terrifying event was caused by Boeing’s “mistake” (a soft take on its apparent negligence), our passenger clients elected to file suit as soon as possible in order to seek fair compensation for their injuries and those of all other passengers, spouses, and registered domestic partners, as soon as reasonably possible.”

The Stritmatter Firm, notes KGW8, is the same law firm that filed another class-action in November against Alaska Airlines and its affiliate, Horizon Air, after an off-duty pilot allegedly attempted to deactivate an aircraft’s engines midflight.

The lawsuit claims that passengers suffered a variety of injuries after Flight 1282 depressurized, including acute “difficulty breathing,” a “concussion,” and loss of hearing. It also seeks compensation for “charges for evaluation and/or treatment of health conditions and associated travel expenses, ticket fees, costs associated with cancelation of travel plans, the value of lost personal items, [and] lost wages.”


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