8 Passengers from Southwest Flight 1380 File Lawsuit in New York

Case Brought Based on the Mid-Air explosion of an Engine of a 737 Aircraft. Boeing also named as defendant, as well as engine manufacturer
ATLANTA - June 20, 2018 - PRLog -- New York, NY  Jonathan W. Johnson, LLC, a law firm located in Atlanta, Georgia, filed a lawsuit in New York Supreme Court on behalf of eight passengers who were aboard Southwest Airlines flight 1380 on April 17, 2018, along with the spouse of one of the passengers.  The aircraft was flying from New York City to Dallas, Texas when its engine exploded in flight.  The plane made an emergency landing in Philadelphia.

The Arenas family of Universal City, Texas, consisting of a mother and her two daughters on a girls' weekend visit to New York City - experienced the panic and horror that a total of 144 passengers experienced when the airplane's engine exploded shattering a window and causing explosive decompression inside the cabin of the aircraft.

Joe Arenas, the husband of Cindy Arenas and father of two girls aboard the flight, has filed a claim as a result of the physical and mental trauma inflicted upon his spouse and the couple's daughters – one which was forced to sit apart from the mother during the flight. Because of the damage to the engine – a sudden loss of altitude occurred during the flight - yet no communication was given to the passengers for the sudden drop when it occurred. During the tragedy, Cindy Arenas reported that the strap on her air mask "popped off the part around my head, so I had to manually hold it against my face". Mrs. Arenas commented that "A few minutes later we heard screaming and saw the stewardess yelling and we saw some blood. Then we realized something happened to a window and there was debris floating all around us. I felt like I couldn't breathe. I had to keep removing my mask to talk to my daughter that was away from me." Mrs. Arenas experienced a nervous breakdown when the plane made an emergency landing in Philadelphia, and has since been diagnosed with PTSD and a ruptured ear drum as a result of the sudden loss of pressure and explosion.

Elhadji Cisse, a Texas resident returning from a visit with his sick mother who resides near New York City, was also terrified by the incident and felt that he was experiencing his last moments of life. Mr. Cisse stated "I was starting to fall asleep when I heard a loud noise. It felt as if the plane hit something. I grabbed the oxygen mask and put it on my nose. It was hard to breathe through it. The plane felt as if it was falling down really fast. I saw two people rushing towards the window seat in the middle of the plane by the left wing pulling a lady passenger back inside of the plane and then administrating CPR. I also heard someone say to close the window so that another window wouldn't shatter. There was the smell of something burning and white particles flying throughout the inside of the plane. After landing, we were all taken by bus to a waiting area where we spoke to the FBI about the incident." Mr. Cisse continues to suffer from internal ear damage, headaches, lack of sleep, nightmares, dizziness, and body soreness.

Donald and Beverly Kirkland of Kenner, Louisiana were returning from New York after celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary when the engine exploded. Mr. Kirkland attempted to call their only daughter but was unable to get a connection before they were instructed to "assume the brace position". The experience was so traumatic that the Kirklands refused to be placed on another flight home and instead chose to rent a car and drive from Philadelphia to their home in Kenner, Louisiana.

The case also includes claims by an engaged couple from New Mexico who were returning from New York which they visited for a romantic weekend. The traumatic experience has left them deeply affected. The young woman has suffered a 20% permanent hearing loss due to the explosive decompression.

All eight passengers were aware that another passenger had been sucked out of the aircraft and were able to observe the efforts to pull her back into the aircraft and perform CPR on her prior to her death.

All eight passengers were prevented from exiting the aircraft until the deceased passenger was removed by EMTs.

All eight passengers also reported observing floating material inside the aircraft following the explosion and are concerned that they may have inhaled some of this unidentified material.

All eight persons aboard the plane have been experiencing vertigo, dizziness, and symptoms of severe emotional distress following the flight, including anxiety, fear, crying, nightmares, and fear of flying and loud noises.  All anticipate that they will need treatment for symptoms of severe emotional distress and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The lawsuit asserts that Southwest Airlines failed to properly maintain and inspect it's CFM56-7B engines, causing the horrific accident to kill one passenger and leaving many with physical injuries and traumatic disorders. The accident has raised serious concerns about the safety of similar engines.  The families have also brought claims against the aircraft manufacturer, Boeing, and the companies which manufactured the engine of the aircraft.

Ongoing investigations by the NTSB revealed that an engine fan blade failed and that there was evidence of metal fatigue where the blade broke off. The cause of the window failure has not yet been determined but it appears likely to have been caused by a piece of debris from the engine.

Airlines are common carriers and generally owe the "highest duty of care" to fare paying passengers.

The case is index number 155786.2018.

About Jonathan W. Johnson LLC

Jonathan W. Johnson is an attorney located in Atlanta, Georgia who has been involved in the litigation of aviation accident cases for 25 years.  He may be reached at by phone at (404) 298-0795 or by email at jwj@johnson-lawyer.com.  He was recently interviewed about the Southwest 1380 accident by USA Today.   Website:  http://www.jonathanjohnsonatlantalawyer.com

Jonathan W. Johnson

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