More passengers sue Boeing, Alaska Airlines after door plug blowout

  • A door plug blew off a Boeing aircraft during flight in January
  • Three passengers filed a lawsuit against the companies
  • Two other lawsuits have been filed since the incident

This image taken Sunday, Jan. 7, 2024, and released by the National Transportation Safety Board, shows a section of Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 that is missing panel on a Boeing 737-9 MAX in Portland, Ore. Federal officials are investigating Boeing’s oversight of production of a panel that blew off a jetliner in midflight last week. (NTSB via AP)

(NewsNation) — Three passengers who were aboard Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 when a door plug blew off the side of the Boeing 737 Max 9 plane in January are suing the airline and Boeing for $1 billion.

An aviation firm filed the lawsuit against the two companies late last month on behalf of the three Portland, Oregon, passengers.

Jonathan W. Johnson LLC stated in a news release that passengers Kyle Rinker, Amanda Strickland and Kevin Kwok were sitting two rows diagonally behind a 15-year-old boy whose shirt was sucked off during the rapid depressurization.

The suit alleges Alaska Airlines had identified the issue with the plane before the incident and neglected to make further inspections before it was placed in service. The firm added it is seeking “to hold Boeing accountable for its negligence which had caused extreme panic, fear, and post-traumatic stress” among the 174 passengers and six crew members who were on board.

For those reasons, the lawsuit is seeking punitive damages from Boeing for not only the preventability of the incident, but because these manufacturing defects impacted numerous other Boeing 737 Max 9 aircraft, which all had to be temporarily grounded and inspected by the FAA.

Following this incident, the FAA grounded all Max 9s in the United States for nearly three weeks, forcing Alaska and United Airlines to cancel more than 1,000 flights between them.

A preliminary report by the National Transportation Safety Board found bolts were missing from the door plug.

The new lawsuit comes a little over a month after four passengers filed a class-action lawsuit against Boeing. Additionally, an attorney representing another 22 passengers from the same flight filed an amended lawsuit Feb. 7 making new allegations of negligence against Boeing and Alaska Airlines.

NewsNation affiliate KOIN contributed to this report.

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