Last month, eighteen passengers on aboard an American Airlines airplane had to escape after it caught on fire. The passengers are now suing the manufacturers and the carrier in Cook County. The lawsuit alleges that the manufacturer sold a faulty engine and used the engine to assemble an unsafe aircraft. Around twenty people went to the hospital due to the American Airlines fire.
What Happened at O’Hare?
161 passengers and other crew members evacuated the plane after it caught on fire. Hospitals admitted 20 passengers after the incident. The airplane caught on fire while on the tarmac. Apparently, the passengers only sustained minor injuries, but the injuries could have been much worse. Right before the flight was about to takeoff, a steel-alloy disk fractured into four pieces. A section pierced the fuel tank and ignited a fire.
The National Transportation Safety Board report issued after the American Airlines fire revealed that the engine was consistent with fatigue cracking. According to the report, the takeoff was aborted because there was uncontained engine failure and this led to fuel pooling under the right wing, which went up into flames.
The American Airlines Fire Lawsuit
The attorneys for the plaintiffs allege that the aircraft was assembled negligently. Additionally, they allege the assemblers failed to properly instruct the workers on maintenance and inspection. Plantiffs also allege that the airliner neglected to maintain and inspect the plane. Other allegations include failing to properly instruct passengers on opening the doors on the evacuation side. The lawsuit also states that the passengers have suffered both physical injuries and psychological damage. The attorney for the plaintiffs says that there might be recurring problems with the engines, and that the engines could not stand against heat stress. The plaintiffs are seeking an unspecified amount of damages. Basically, the passengers claim that the airline could have done a much better job inspecting the plane.
Although such fires occur rarely, many people suffer injuries while on public forms of transportation. If you or someone you know have been injured while on an airplane or other form of public transportation, contact the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. today for a free consultation.
The Airline’s Response
The airline’s spokesperson responded by saying that they are proud of their pilots, and that everyone on the team responded quickly to take care of the passengers under the circumstances. Additionally, the airline stated that they are fully participating in an investigation conducted by the National Transportation Safety Board and will continue to work with them and other parties. The manufacturer declined to testify since the investigation is still in the early stages. The spokesperson for Boeing and American Airlines declined to respond specifically on the pending lawsuit.