CHICAGO (CBS) — Ten passengers have filed lawsuits against Boeing, General Electric Aviation and American Airlines after the airplane they were on caught fire last October on the tarmac of O’Hare International Airport when part of an engine failed.
Eighteen other passengers filed a similar lawsuit against the companies last November, alleging that General Electric Aviation sold a faulty engine that Boeing used to assemble an unsafe 767 aircraft. The passengers also claimed American Airlines employees should have done a better job inspecting the plane, and that they failed to provide “assistance, supervision and instruction” during evacuation.
The latest series of lawsuits, filed Tuesday in Cook County Circuit Court, made similar allegations.
“We’re proud of our pilots, flight attendants and other team members who responded quickly to take care of our customers under very challenging circumstances,” an American Airlines representative said in an email. “American is actively participating in the National Transportation Safety Board’s investigation and will continue to work with the NTSB and the other parties to the investigation of this event.”
A Boeing spokesman declined to comment. Messages seeking comment from GE were not immediately returned.
An NTSB report issued a week after the fire said one of the fractures on the turbine disk of the engine was “consistent with fatigue cracking.” Takeoff was aborted due to the “uncontained engine failure” that led to fuel pooling under the plane’s right wing, which then burst into flames, authorities said.
One piece of the turbine disk went through the inboard section of the right wing, over the fuselage and into a UPS warehouse facility more than a half-mile away. Another piece was found about 1,600 feet away, but it was still on O’Hare property, authorities said.
No fire breached the cabin, and the 20 hospitalized passengers had been released a night after the fire.
The new ten-count suits, which allege negligence and strict product liability, seek $500,000 in damages from Boeing, GE and American.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2016. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)