Passengers Sue Boeing and Alaska Airlines for $1 Billion

A service ladder at the aft cabin door recess of Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 9
Photo Credit: NTSB

On January 5, 2024, Alaska Airlines Flight 1282, a Boeing 737 MAX 9, experienced a mid-flight scare when a door plug blew out, forcing an emergency landing.

This incident has since sparked legal action, with passengers filing lawsuits against both Boeing, the aircraft manufacturer, and Alaska Airlines, the operating carrier.

Lawsuits Allege Negligence

Three individual passengers involved in the incident filed a lawsuit in Oregon, seeking a combined $1 billion in damages.

Their complaint alleges negligence on the part of both Boeing and Alaska Airlines.

The lawsuit claims that Boeing manufactured a defective aircraft and failed to adequately test it. Alaska Airlines then allegedly failed to properly inspect and maintain the plane, leading to the door plug malfunction.

According to news source Independent UK, the lawsuit states: “As a direct result of the frightful, death-threatening 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.”

An NTSB officer inspects damaged Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 9 interior.
Photo Credit: NTSB
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The three claimants were seated in the row behind the cabin door plug assembly which blew out whilst the aircraft was passing through 16,000 feet.

Beyond these individual suits, at least two class action lawsuits have been filed. These collectively represent all passengers who were aboard Flight 1282.

These lawsuits also allege negligence and seek compensation for physical injuries and emotional trauma suffered by passengers as a result of the incident.

It should be noted that the lawsuits are still in their early stages. Neither Boeing nor Alaska Airlines have been found liable for the incident at present.

The legal process can be lengthy and complex, and the outcome of these lawsuits remains uncertain.

The individual lawsuits allege that the door plug malfunction caused some passengers to sustain physical injuries. Additionally, others experienced significant emotional trauma due to the sudden and frightening nature of the event.

These claims perhaps raise awareness of the potential human cost associated with such incidents.

NTSB Recovers Missing Door Plug from Alaska Airlines 1282
Photo Credit: NTSB.

Ongoing Investigations

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are currently investigating the incident to determine the cause of the door plug failure.

Their findings are expected to play a crucial role in the ongoing legal proceedings.

Industry Repercussions

This incident, along with the ongoing lawsuits, could have broader implications for the aviation industry.

It could lead to increased scrutiny of aircraft manufacturing and maintenance practices, potentially prompting stricter regulations and safety measures.


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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 3 Min Read
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