UNITED STATES NEWS

Seat belt saved passenger’s life on Boeing 737 jet that suffered a blowout, new lawsuit says

Mar 14, 2024, 7:16 PM

SEATTLE (AP) — More passengers who were aboard an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 jet when part of its fuselage blew out in January are suing — including one who says his life was saved by a seat belt.

The latest lawsuit, representing seven passengers, was filed in Washington’s King County Superior Court Thursday against Boeing, Alaska Airlines, Spirit AeroSystems and 10 people listed as John Does.

Cuong Tran, of Upland, California, was sitting in the row behind where the side of the aircraft tore away and left a door-sized hole on Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 on Jan. 5, according to a news release from attorney Timothy A. Loranger. Loranger, who filed the lawsuit, said air rushed out of the hole, pulling on Tran and others nearby.

The suction tore Tran’s shoes and socks from his feet and he felt his body lift off his seat, the news release said, adding that Tran’s foot was hurt when it was jerked into the seat structure in front of him.

“Our clients — and likely every passenger on that flight — suffered unnecessary trauma due to the failure of Boeing, Spirit AeroSystems, and Alaska Airlines to ensure that the aircraft was in a safe and airworthy condition,” Loranger said.

The lawsuit seeks punitive, compensatory and general damages for alleged negligence, product construction/manufacturing defect liability and failing in its duty to protect passengers from harm.

Boeing responded to an email Thursday seeking comment saying, “We have nothing to add.” Alaska Airlines and Spirit AeroSystems didn’t immediately respond to emails seeking comment.

The first six minutes of the flight from Portland, Oregon, to Southern California’s Ontario International Airport had been routine, the Boeing 737 Max 9 about halfway to its cruising altitude and traveling at more than 400 mph (640 kph). Then the piece of fuselage covering an inoperative emergency exit behind the left wing blew out.

The pilots made an emergency landing back where they started in Portland. No one was seriously hurt.

Another lawsuit against Boeing and Alaska Airlines was filed last month on behalf of 22 other passengers on the flight, also accusing the companies of negligence.

In a preliminary report last month, the National Transportation Safety Board said four bolts that help keep the door plug in place were missing after the panel was removed so workers could repair nearby damaged rivets last September. The rivet repairs were done by contractors working for Boeing supplier Spirit AeroSystems.

Boeing, under increased scrutiny since the incident, has acknowledged in a letter to Congress that it cannot find records for work done on the door panel of the Alaska Airlines plane.

The Department of Justice has also launched a criminal investigation. The probe would assist the department’s review of whether Boeing complied with a settlement that resolved a federal investigation into the safety of its 737 Max aircraft after two deadly crashes in 2018 and 2019.

United States News

Associated Press

Kamala Harris is preparing to lead Democrats in 2024. There are lessons from her 2020 bid

ATLANTA (AP) — Kamala Harris was greeted by a massive, cheering crowd during the first rally of her newly announced presidential campaign in 2019. Speaking on a late January day outside city hall in her hometown of Oakland, California, she framed her bid as part of something bigger than simply winning an election. “We are […]

29 minutes ago

FILE - Unsold 2024 Escalade utility vehicles sit in a row outside a Cadillac dealership on June 2, ...

Associated Press

With US vehicle prices averaging near $50K, General Motors sees 2nd-quarter profits rise 15%

DETROIT (AP) — U.S. customers who bought a new General Motors vehicle last quarter paid an average of just under $49,900, a price that helped push the company’s net income 15% above a year ago. And GM Chief Financial Officer Paul Jacobson said he doesn’t see his company cutting prices very much, despite industry analysts’ […]

59 minutes ago

FILE - In this July 27, 2021 file photo, Simone Biles, of the United States, watches gymnasts perfo...

Associated Press

Biles, Osaka and Phelps spoke up about mental health. Has anything changed for the Paris Olympics?

Lydia Jacoby was a breakout star in the pool for the United States at the last Summer Games, earning a gold medal in the 100-meter breaststroke and a relay silver. Part of what comes to mind from those heady days in Tokyo? “People talking about post-Olympic depression,” she said. She was 17 at the time, […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Harris to visit battleground Wisconsin in first rally as Democrats coalesce around her for president

WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Kamala Harris is making her first visit to a battleground state Tuesday after locking up enough support from Democratic delegates to win her party’s nomination to challenge former President Donald Trump, two days after President Joe Biden dropped his reelection bid. As the Democratic Party continues to coalesce around her, […]

3 hours ago

China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi, center, hosts an event for Mahmoud al-Aloul, left, vice chairman ...

Associated Press

Hamas and Fatah sign declaration in Beijing on ending yearslong rift as war rages in Gaza

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah signed a declaration in Beijing on ending a yearslong rift, Chinese state media said Tuesday, taking a step toward potentially resolving the deep divide between the sides as the war in Gaza rages on. The declaration by the two heavyweights of Palestinian politics — and […]

5 hours ago

FILE - Buildings and homes are flooded in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura near Lake Charles, La., ...

Associated Press

Data shows hurricanes and earthquakes grab headlines but inland counties top disaster list

Floyd County keeps flooding and the federal government keeps coming to the rescue. In July 2022, at least 40 people died and 300 homes were damaged when the eastern Kentucky county flooded. It was the 13th time in 12 years that the rural county was declared a federal disaster. These are disasters so costly that […]

6 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Beat the heat, ensure your AC unit is summer-ready

With temperatures starting to rise across the Valley, now is a great time to be sure your AC unit is ready to withstand the sweltering summer heat.

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

Seat belt saved passenger’s life on Boeing 737 jet that suffered a blowout, new lawsuit says