Number of passengers in class-action lawsuit against Alaska Air, Boeing grows

Jan 23, 2024, 3:28 PM

FILE - The logo for Boeing appears on a screen above a trading post on the floor of the New York St...

FILE - The logo for Boeing appears on a screen above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, July 13, 2021. Boeing reports earnings on Wednesday, April 26, 2023. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, file)

(AP Photo/Richard Drew, file)

More passengers of Alaska Airlines’ Flight 1282 are joining in efforts to seek damages from the airline and jet manufacturer Boeing.

Four passengers filed a lawsuit against the two companies last week, claiming the depressurization that ripped open the fuselage midair left them with serious mental and emotional trauma. Now, attorney Mark Lindquist told KIRO Newsradio his office is representing 18 passengers from the ill-fated flight, and he intends to add them to the Jan. 16 complaint.

“Something like this should not happen,” Lindquist said. “There should be accountability and there should be compensation.”

‘I said goodbye’: Passengers recall ‘terror’ as Alaska Airlines added to lawsuit

The lawsuit alleges both the companies are at fault for the flight’s explosive decompression, accusing Boeing of defective product design and Alaska Airlines of negligence.

Passengers remain unhappy after Alaska Airlines’ gesture

Alaska Airlines reportedly refunded passengers on Flight 1282 and sent them checks of $1,500 each with no conditions. According to Lindquist, it’s not enough for his clients.

“Clients had some minor physical damages, such as hearing loss,” Lindquist said. “But most of the damages are severe emotional distress, trauma, fear of flying, sleeplessness and other issues such as that.”

The attorney said some passengers found the Alaska Airlines offer to be offensive and out-of-touch, considering the traumatic nature of what they endured. After the plane’s door plug blew out, leaving the cabin exploded to thin air at 16,000-foot altitude, passengers reportedly sent goodbye text messages.

The filed complaint states passengers want compensation for punitive damages, economic and “non-economic general damages,” and attorneys’ fees.

Fallout: Boeing to increase quality inspections on 737-9 Max following Alaska Airlines blow out

Lindquist declined to specify exactly how much his clients were seeking.

“We’re still very early in this process, and the specifics of the damages will come later. For example, many of the passengers are just now starting counseling,” Lindquist said.

Other passengers told media outlets they found little help from the airline waiting for them when they exited the plane after its emergency landing.

Immediate aftermath: FAA grounds about 170 Boeing 737-9 Max aircraft after Portland flight blowout

Following federal regulators’ decision to ground the Boeing 737-9 Max aircraft, which constitutes a large portion of Alaska Airline’s fleet, the airline waived its flight change and cancellation fees across the board.

KIRO Newsradio reached out to Alaska Airlines and Boeing for comment, but has not yet heard back. The airline previously told KIRO Newsradio it does not comment on pending litigation.

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Number of passengers in class-action lawsuit against Alaska Air, Boeing grows