22 passengers who were onboard Flight 1282 when a door plug blew out of the fuselage mid-flight have brought an amended lawsuit against Boeing and Alaska Airlines.
Mark Lindquist, a Washington-based personal injury lawyer, yesterday brought the claims of the 22 passengers against Boeing and Alaska Airlines after the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)’s preliminary investigation determined the incident occurred due to four bolts missing from the B737 MAX 9 door.
Lindquist initially filed a lawsuit on 16 January alleging emotional and physical injuries to passengers, including severe stress, anxiety, trauma and hearing damage.
His amended complaint adds new passengers and allegations of negligence by both Boeing and Alaska Airlines.
The new allegations include a claim that “there was a whistling sound coming from the vicinity of the door plug on a previous flight of the subject plane” and that “passengers apparently noticed the whistling sound and brought it to the attention of flight attendants who reportedly informed the pilot or first officer”.
But, the allegations go on to claim, no known further action was taken “after the pilot checked cockpit instruments, which purportedly read normal”.
Lindquist cites the NTSB report which found the cockpit door was designed to blow out in a depressurisation situation, but that pilots and crew were not informed of this design feature.
According to the lawsuit: “The resulting shock, noise and communication difficulties contributed to a lack of proper communication between the flight crew and passengers, thereby intensifying confusion and stress.
The lawyer, who represented dozens of victim families in the two fatal crashes of the B737 MAX 8 in 2018 and 2019, said Boeing should have fixed their quality control issues after 346 people died in the MAX 8 crashes.
He accused the aircraft manufacturer of “cutting so many corners” on quality that “they’re going in circles”, adding that “this plane was a ticking bomb – a blow-out could have happened at a cruising altitude where it would have been catastrophic”.
Lindquist said his clients “want accountability” for the incident.
The NTSB report found Boeing delivered the plane to Alaska Airlines with four retaining bolts missing, which resulted in the eventual door plug blow-out.
The amended lawsuits come as pressure mounts on Boeing over serious concerns of safety and quality control.
Earlier this week, Emirates president, Sir Tim Clark, said he had seen a “progressive decline” in standards at the plane maker, adding that Boeing was in the “last chance saloon” as he prepared to send his own engineers to oversee the plane maker’s production line.
Reports have suggested US airlines may cancel Boeing orders in light of their safety worries.
ARGS has contacted Boeing and Alaska Airlines for comment.
Image: An Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 9 in flight (Credit: @IanDewarPhotography/Adobe Stock).