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Seattle Passengers Suing Alaska Airlines Following Boeing 737 Fuselage Blowout

On January 5, 2024, an Alaska Airlines flight experienced a fuselage blowout on a Boeing 737 MAX 9 at an altitude of 16,000 feet. The blowout caused reported fear and panic among passengers, as well as some injuries and loss of personal belongings, and is now resulting in lawsuits against Alaska Airlines and Boeing.

Suzannah Anderson, a passenger on the flight, texted her son saying, “he was and has been the best part of my life,” amidst the panic.

“My mind couldn’t grasp what was going on,” said Garet Cunningham, another passenger on the flight. “I’m not prepared for this. I wasn’t prepared to die on this flight.”

The flight landed safely at Portland International Airport after the blowout. Some passengers have stated they couldn’t hear information during the panic in the air and ‘their oxygen masks didn’t appear to be working.’

“Passengers faced the terror of thinking this plane would crash or come apart, with a large hole in the fuselage, rapid loss of pressure, and turbulent wind inside the plane,” said Jim Gooding, Senior Trial Counsel and Shareholder, one of GLP’s attorneys with extensive experience in aviation cases. “This is a trauma that they will bear with them the rest of their lives, a trauma shared with their loved ones to whom they sent text messages that could have been their last.”

A statement from Boeing said the company is “committed to ensuring every Boeing airplane meets design specifications and the highest safety and quality standards.”

Alaska Airlines’ CEO, Ben Minicucci, shared a letter on the company’s website stating that the company is sorry for what passengers experienced and his gratitude for the response of its flight crew.

Alaska Airlines refunded passengers on Flight 1282 and gave each passenger a $1,500 cash payment “as an immediate gesture of care.” The intention of the payment was to “cover any incidental expenses to ensure their immediate needs were taken care of.” There are currently two lawsuits filed against Alaska Airlines and Boeing.

Understanding Aviation Accident Liability

Personal injury cases from aviation accidents can be complex, and it is important that you understand the variety of different liability and insurance coverage issues that may apply to your case. If you think that someone was at fault in causing an aviation accident that you, a family member, or a friend were involved in, you should have the facts of your claim reviewed by a lawyer as soon as possible.

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