A couple of weeks back, Southwest Airlines 1380 flight, which was flying to Dallas from New York, was forced to land in Philadelphia due to engine failure as one of the fan blades broke. The debacle resulted in the death of a passenger (Jennifer Riordan). The Boeing 737-700 flight took off from New York with 144 passengers along with five crew members. Lilia Chavez, one of the passengers on board, on the 1380 flight has sued the airline.
Chavez has filed a lawsuit in a Pennsylvania court accusing Southwest (LUV) of causing her depression, stress and injuries due to the accident. She has also blamed CFM International (CFM), GE Aviation and French-based Safran in the suit. It’s worth noting that the engine used by Boeing 737-700 was manufactured by CFM. GE and Safran jointly own CFM.
The lawsuit also added that Southwest and CFM have given priority to profit rather than the safety of the passengers. It also states that the air carrier failed to warn passengers or remove the “dangerous engine” from its fleet.
National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is currently looking into the issue. The air carrier has reacted that the safety and security of passengers and employees is their utmost priority all the time. It also had sent a check for $5,000 along with a travel voucher worth $1,000 apologizing about the incident to all passengers who boarded the 1380 flight on that day.
This is the not the first time an incident of this kind is encountered. A flight of Southwest boasting the similar CFM engine was forced to do an emergency landing in Florida couple of years back due to fan blade mishap. For Southwest, this is the first ever fatality incident on board, and it’s been the first death case reported in US aviation space over the last nine years.
The Dallas-based firm is currently inspecting all the engine blades from CFM on its entire fleet within a month. Aviation regulator Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has ordered the air carrier to check all CFM56-7B engines within three weeks post the incident. Meanwhile, it seems President Trump is planning to meet the 1380 crew members on Tuesday. The members will be meeting the President at the White House, but nothing much has been revealed about the meeting.
Chavez’s attorney stated the rationale behind the lawsuit: “it affects every person who flies as passengers in commercial aircraft.”
Last week, Southwest reported its first quarter results, beating analyst consensus. This year, the stock is down over 19%.
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