Southwest Flight 1380 passengers sue airline, engine manufacturers

By Daniel Uria  |  June 20, 2018 at 8:35 PM
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June 20 (UPI) -- A group of passengers from Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 sued the airline and engine manufacturers after an engine explosion in April.

Eight passengers from the flight filed a lawsuit in New York Supreme Court on Tuesday alleging physical and mental trauma in the aftermath of the fatal explosion that led to an emergency landing in Philadelphia.

"They feel like they've had a horrific experience that will stay with them for life," said Jonathan Johnson, the lawyer representing the passengers. "Another reason we're doing this is to make sure that this doesn't happen to any other passengers on airline flights."

Johnson said the passengers in the lawsuit experienced vertigo, dizziness and extreme emotional distress, including anxiety, nightmares, and fear of flying and loud noises.

The plaintiffs said they "were confronted with their greatest fear, the overwhelming horror of being trapped in a plane about to crash," ABC News reported.

The lawsuit also says Southwest failed to properly maintain the aircraft and CFM56-7B engines and cites Southwest, Boeing and three companies involved in the building of the plane's engine for negligence.

"Southwest Airlines negligently failed in its duty to provide the highest degree of care for its passengers whose lives were at risk," the lawsuit states. "Southwest Airlines negligently failed to reasonably monitor, inspect, test service, maintain and repair the aircraft and engine."

Investigators said a fan blade in one of the engines broke away due to metal fatigue and debris struck the side of the plane, breaking one of the windows, as the plane was traveling from New York City to Dallas.

One passenger was partially sucked out of the broken window, but other passengers were able to pull her back inside the aircraft. The woman, Jennifer Riordan, died of her injuries.

Flight 1380 passenger Lilia Chavez also sued Southwest Airlines and CFM International in April, accusing the companies of negligence and "willful, wanton and outrageous conduct."

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