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Passengers file $1 billion lawsuit against Alaska Airlines, Boeing

A door panel flew off Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 in January, causing the crew to make an emergency landing.
Passengers file $1 billion lawsuit against Alaska Airlines, Boeing
Posted at 2:55 PM, Mar 04, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-04 16:59:37-05

Three passengers are suing Alaska Airlines and Boeing for $1 billion after a door panel on a plane blew off in the middle of a flight. 

Attorney Jonathan Johnson said his clients, Kyle Rinker, Amanda Strickland and Kevin Kwok, were scared for their lives during the Jan. 5 flight. 

“They were thinking they were going to die,” Johnson told Scripps News. 

Johnson added that his clients were across the aisle from the gaping hole in the plane, two rows away from where a boy’s shirt was ripped from his body. 

“They had even thought about swapping over to sit on that side because it was empty and they would have more room,” Johnson said.

There were 174 passengers and six crew members aboard the flight, which was scheduled to travel to Ontario, California. It instead returned to Portland to make an emergency landing. 

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Alaska Airlines reportedly offered passengers $1,500 each for the mishap. A ticket refund was also included in the compensation package.

Johnson said his clients deserve a lot more, noting that the $1 billion figure was meant to get the company’s attention. 

“To change their behavior, because their market cap, the numbers they deal in are so very large, every aircraft is hundreds of millions of dollars, so to get Boeing’s attention, you have to ask for a number like that,” Johnson said. 

Federal authorities said a preliminary investigation showed bolts that were meant to keep the panel in place were missing. 

Scripps News reached out to Alaska Airlines and Boeing for comment on the lawsuit. Both companies declined to comment. 

SEE MORE: FAA gives Boeing 90 days to create plan to improve safety, quality