An amended lawsuit was filed Feb. 7 against Boeing and Alaska Airlines on behalf of 22 passengers on Alaska Airlines Flight 1282.
A nearly new Boeing 737 MAX 9 plane was flying from Portland, Oregon, to California on Jan. 5. At 16,000 feet, according to a statement from attorney Mark Lindquist, there was a loud bang and whoosh as a door plug blew out of the fuselage and the plane rapidly depressurized.
Lindquist initially filed a lawsuit on Jan. 16 alleging emotional and physical injuries to passengers, including severe stress, anxiety, trauma, and hearing damage. His amended complaint adds new passengers and new allegations of negligence by Boeing and Alaska Airlines.
New allegations include a claim, “there was a whistling sound coming from the vicinity of the door plug on a previous flight of the subject plane. Passengers apparently noticed the whistling sound and brought it to the attention of flight attendants who reportedly informed the pilot or first officer.”
Lindquist claims that no known further action was taken, “After the pilot checked cockpit instruments, which purportedly read normal.”
Additionally, Lindquist cites the recent National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) preliminary report, which found the cockpit door was designed to blow out in a depressurization situation. Pilots and crew were not informed of this design feature.
“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,” according to the lawsuit.
Lindquist, who represented dozens of victim families in the two fatal crashes of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 in 2018 and 2019, said Boeing should have fixed their quality control issues after 346 people died in the MAX 8 crashes.
“Boeing is still cutting corners on quality,” Lindquist claimed in a statement.
The NTSB report found Boeing delivered the plane to Alaska Airlines with four retaining bolts missing, which resulted in the eventual door plug blowout.
“This plane was a ticking bomb,” Lindquist said. “A blowout could have happened at a cruising altitude where it would have been catastrophic.”
Among the 22 listed plaintiffs in the lawsuit are a couple with an infant, a mother and her 13-year-old daughter, and an unaccompanied minor.
Lindquist said his clients “want accountability. They want to make sure this doesn’t happen again to anyone.”