Clifford Law Offices, a nationally recognized aviation firm, is actively giving legal counsel to many passengers who were aboard the ill-fated Southwest Airlines flight that led to the death of a young mother and wife when the window was smashed, partially sucking her out of the plane.
Part of the engine of Flight 1380 snapped apart on April 17, crashing into the window of Row 14 and breaking it open, which caused the aircraft to depressurize. The plane was at an altitude of 32,500 feet, according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), and the aircraft dropped to 10,000 feet in just minutes. Oxygen masks dropped from the ceiling. Passengers suffered post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as well as neck and other injuries during the horrible incident.
Several passengers have contacted the aviation attorneys at Clifford Law Offices regarding their rights and the firm is evaluating litigation options. Many aboard that flight that was heading from New York to Dallas were traumatized and are suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after witnessing the ordeal and fearing for their lives during the 22 minutes before the plane was forced to do an emergency landing in Philadelphia.
“People were texting their loved ones that this was the final moments of their lives,” said Robert A. Clifford, founder and senior partner of the Chicago-based firm that has handled numerous commercial jet crashes and other aviation tragedies around the world. “They will be forever scarred by this tragic event, as will most people on that flight. Southwest Airlines needs to fully explain what happened here.”
Clifford was quoted in the Wall Street Journal on the investigation surrounding the crash. He said that the “unprecedented low accident rates (this was the first fatality on a U.S. passenger airline since 2009) ‘have lulled us into complacency. … We need to re-energize and reinvigorate inspection procedures.'”
The last person to be killed by a Southwest jet was in 2005 when a Southwest airliner skidded off the runway at Midway Airport in Chicago, crashing into the car of six-year-old Joshua Woods, killing him in the back seat and injuring his parents and two siblings. Clifford represented that family that resulted in a confidential settlement.
The NTSB has announced that one of the blades had failed due to metal fatigue on Flight 1380. The incident forced the inspection of all CFM-powered engines on 737 aircraft for metal fatigue using ultrasonic sensors. Flight 1380 carried 144 passengers and five crew members. The pilot and co-pilot, speaking to ABC Network News for the first time, said that the cabin was “loud” and they had to communicate using hand signals. The pilot went on to say that the event was “rather radical … and then it [the aircraft] began its own descent.”
More recently, American Airlines Flight 383 aborted take-off at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport after it caught fire in October, 2016, involving nickel-alloy based fan disk problems on the aircraft. Clifford Law Offices also represents a number of passengers injured in that incident.
The chaos on Flight 1380 brings to mind the crash landing of United Airlines Flight 232 in Sioux City, Iowa, in July, 1989, relating to a catastrophic failure of its tail-mounted engine. Clifford Law Offices represented a number of families who lost loved ones and Clifford served as co-lead counsel in these aviation crash cases.
For further information or to speak to partners Robert Clifford or Kevin Durkin, please contact Clifford Law Offices Communications Partner Pamela Sakowicz Menaker at 847-721-0909.