Three passengers on Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 whose door plug

Three passengers on Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 whose door plug blew through are suing the airline and Boeing for $1 billion

Three passengers on the Alaska Airlines plane that was forced to make an emergency landing after a door plug ripped off mid-flight are suing the airline and Boeing for $1 billion, claiming the incident was caused by negligence.

On February 20, a complaint was filed in Multnomah County, Oregon, on behalf of Kyle Rinker, Amanda Strickland and Kevin Kwok, all of whom were aboard Alaska Flight 1282, minutes into a scheduled trip from Portland An unused exit door from the plane detached to Ontario, California in early January. Multnomah County includes Portland.

The lawsuit seeks both compensatory and punitive damages from Boeing, the corporate giant that manufactured the 737 Max 9 jet flown by Alaska Airlines, to be determined in court.

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“As a direct result of the horrific, fatal failure of the Boeing aircraft, Mr. Kwok, Mr. Rinker and Ms. Strickland suffered severe mental, emotional and psychological injuries, including post-traumatic stress, and physical injuries. The lawsuit states that the sudden change in cabin pressure “caused some passengers to experience bleeding ears.”

Jonathan W. Johnson, LLC, an Atlanta-based aviation law firm that filed the complaint on behalf of Kwok, Rinker and Strickland, said in a news release that it hopes to “hold Boeing accountable for its negligence, the extreme panic and “The explosion on Flight 1282 was called a “preventable incident” that threatened not only the lives of the passengers and crew aboard that particular aircraft, but also the lives of other Boeing-manufactured aircraft, which were later found to have similar defects.

The lawsuit claims the incident on Flight 1282 is “just one horrific chapter in the evolving story of Boeing and Alaska Airlines putting profits over safety.”

Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 took off from Portland International Airport just before 5 p.m. PT on Jan. 5, according to flight tracking website FlightAware, and returned safely to the same origin about 40 minutes later as part of an emergency landing. The plane was about six minutes into its scheduled flight to California and was flying at an altitude of 16,000 feet when one of the exit doors came off. A social media video obtained by CBS News at the time showed a gaping hole in the side of the plane, which was carrying 174 passengers and six crew members at the time.

Although the plane landed safely in Portland, several passengers suffered minor injuries and lost phones and other personal items that were sucked out of the hole in the plane. One passenger, a teenager who had originally been sitting with his mother in the row next to the affected door panel, had his shirt ripped off by the strong wind, another passenger, Kelly Bartlett, told Kris an Cleave, senior transportation and country correspondent from CBS News after it happened.

Preliminary results of an investigation into the incident by the National Transportation and Safety Board found that the plane was missing four key bolts that were supposed to hold the door stopper in place. The agency said in a report released in early February that “four screws preventing upward movement of the MED plug were missing before the MED plug moved up from the bump stops.”

Following the incident, Alaska Airlines and United Airlines canceled flights using Boeing 737 Max 9 aircraft as inspections began. Both airlines said they found loose hardware on landed aircraft of this model. The Federal Aviation Administration ultimately ordered a temporary worldwide grounding of all Boeing 737 Max 9 jets for “immediate inspection” and is conducting an ongoing investigation into the aircraft to determine what went wrong on Flight 1282 and whether Boeing “failed to do so “To ensure” that its aircraft “were in a condition for safe operation in accordance with FAA regulations.”

“This incident should never have happened and it cannot happen again,” the agency said in a statement in January. “The FAA continues to support the National Transportation Safety Board’s investigation into the January 5 door jam incident.”

Boeing is facing another class-action lawsuit filed by passengers on the Alaska Airlines flight that claims the Jan. 5 incident “physically injured some passengers and emotionally traumatized most, if not all, on board.” ” have. Alaska Airlines was not named as a defendant in that lawsuit.

CBS News has reached out to both Boeing and Alaska Airlines for comment on the recent $1 billion lawsuit. The airline said it could “not comment on the pending settlement or the ongoing NTSB investigation,” while Boeing said, “We have nothing to add.”

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Emily Mae Czachor