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Lawyers Sink their Teeth Into Alaska Door Plug Incident

Passengers Sue for 'Emotional Distress, Economic Loss, Medical, Travel Expenses'

The Alaska Airlines incident involving Boeing MAX 9 door plug has seen its first lawsuits from affected passengers, with a group filing suit against Boeing last week in the hopes of starting a class action.

Both Alaska and Boeing got additional legal interest after another smaller scale suit was filed in Washington. The passengers of Flight 1282 received a refund and a $1,500 cash payment as a 'gesture of care' from the carrier, which was intended to cover their immediate needs in the wake of the accident. That didn't dissuade them from filing suit, however. The most recent lawsuit out of Seattle comes courtesy of Mark Lindquist, an attorney who represented victim's families after two of Boeing's past MAX crashes.

Lindquist's case asserts that the failed door plug of Alaska's MAX 9 is just the most recent of "quality control issues' for a company that "puts profits ahead of safety." The nearly brand-new aircraft still managed to fail in a way that while largely harmless, terrified passengers, according to his office.

“Boeing delivered a plane with a faulty door plug that blew out of the fuselage at 16,000 feet and air masks that apparently did not function properly. Plaintiffs feared the gaping hole in the fuselage, rapid depressurization, and general havoc was a prelude to the plane’s destruction and their own likely death.
Some passengers were sending what they thought would be their final text messages in this world," said Lindquist. "One plaintiff wrote, 'Mom our plane depressed. We're in masks. I love you.'" he added.

The suit takes aim at Alaska for flying domestically with a plane that was precluded from ETOPS flights, too. "Alaska Airlines management decided the subject plane was not safe to fly over the ocean, but was somehow safe enough to fly over land,” the lawsuit states. “This risky decision endangered passengers.” Lindquist said “There’s no reasonable way for an airline executive to explain to the jury how they thought the plane was not safe to fly over the ocean but was safe to fly over land."



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