A Passenger Who Survived the Fatal Southwest Flight Is Now Suing the Airline
A passenger who survived the deadly Southwest 1380 flight filed a lawsuit against the airline carrier after an engine exploded earlier this month, killing one person on board and leading dozens of others to prepare for an untimely death.
Lila Chavez, the passenger who filed the lawsuit, claimed she has suffered post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, and other personal injuries in the days after the flight made an emergency landing in Philadelphia, according the the lawsuit detailed by NPR. Chavez sat three seats behind the window that smashed and partially sucked out the passenger who later died and “prayed and feared for her life” as she contacted her children and prepared to die, according to the lawsuit filed last week in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
The lawsuit also claims Southwest Airlines “placed profits and business over the safety of its customers” by not removing or warning passengers about the “dangerous engine” on its Boeing 700-737 fleet.
A representative from Southwest told Fortune the company could not comment on pending litigation and was focused on working with the NTSB on its investigation. “The safety and security of our Employees and Customers is our highest priority at all times,” the representative said. After the incident, Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly said officials inspected the engine on the aircraft days before the event.
Southwest is now inspecting all CFM engine fan blades—the same kind that were involved in the deadly flight earlier this month—on its aircrafts over the next 30 days. The company began the program hours after the deadly emergency landing, and adjusted its flight schedules over the next month with cancellations and delays to allow for further inspections. The Federal Aviation Administration also issued an emergency directive for the airline to inspect all of its CFM56-7B engines within the next 20 days.
Southwest Airlines also sent passengers on the deadly flight $5,000 checks for “immediate financial needs” and $1,000 travel vouchers.
The passenger death on flight 1380 was the first fatality on a U.S. airline since 2009.