New York City Author/Journalist Sues Boeing Over Exploding Boeing 737 Airplane Engine On Southwest Flight 1380

NEW YORK - Feb. 12, 2020 - PRLog -- Jonathan W. Johnson, LLC filed a lawsuit in New York City for an author and journalist who was on board Southwest Airlines flight 1380 on April 17, 2018.  The aircraft was a Boeing 737 that had just departed New York-LaGuardia Airport in route to Dallas and was about twenty minutes into the flight when one of the engines suddenly exploded in flight.

William V. Madison is a journalist, author, and editor living in New York City. At CBS News, he worked closely with Dan Rather for 12 years as a writer and producer, also assisting the anchor on four books, including the New York Times best seller "Deadlines & Datelines."  He was Connie Chung's associate producer on ABC News' coverage of New Year's Eve Y2K, and for three years he served as associate editor of Opera News magazine. In 1986, he was the production assistant for Charles Strouse and Stephen Schwartz's Broadway musical "Rags."

A graduate of Brown University, with an M.F.A. from Columbia's School of the Arts, he is the author of Madeline Kahn: Being the Music, A Life, the critically acclaimed biography of the Oscar-nominated actress and singer. He recently edited My Life in Song, the memoir of the legendary Czechoslovakian soprano Jarmila Novotná; he is currently collaborating on the autobiography of Fredd Tree, a veteran of the Stonewall rebellion.

Mr. Madison was traveling to Texas to visit relatives. He experienced the panic and horror that shocked all 144 passengers when the exploding engine parts became dangerous projectiles that damaged the aircraft's fuselage and shattered a passenger window.  This resulted in explosive decompression inside the cabin of the aircraft and sent debris flying through the cabin.

He was seated seven rows behind the shattered window, and he watched in horror as the passenger nearest the window was sucked into the opening and trapped there in helpless agony.  It was a horrible nightmare for everyone onboard—he felt that the airplane was going to crash.

Ultimately, the pilot, managed to bring the aircraft under control and make an emergency landing in Philadelphia.  Some of the passengers extricated the unconscious and critically injured passenger who had been sucked into the window, and after the plane touched down others administered CPR until the medics arrived.  That passenger died as a result of the incident.  Mr. Madison's visit home ended due to the traumatic nightmare that has left him with emotional scars from the Boeing 737 flight.. Instead of taking a new flight to Texas, he took the train back to New York.

The lawsuit alleges "Boeing's willful, wanton and reckless disregard for the safety of passengers aboard its aircraft."  Boeing's pattern of reckless conduct is manifested by other horribly tragic crashes, the most recent being Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 that crashed in Ethiopia on March 10, 2019 and took the lives of 157 people; the Lion Air Flight 610 that crashed in the sea off the coast of Indonesia on October 29, 2018 and killed 189 people; and Global Air Flight 972 that crashed in Mexico on May 18, 2018 with 112 fatalities. Additionally, the lawsuit is asserting that Boeing had knowledge that this systemic failure in safety could result in significant loss of life and enormous suffering by survivors. For those reasons, the lawsuit seeks substantial punitive damages from Boeing for a preventable incident.  In addition, the engine of the Boeing 737 and its protective cowling should have been designed with material and structural integrity to contain any shrapnel from a failed engine component and prevent it from penetrating the passenger cabin.

The lawsuit also alleges that Southwest Airlines failed to properly maintain and inspect the aircraft's engines and also asserts liability against the companies that manufactured the engines.  Investigations by the NTSB have revealed that an engine fan blade failed and that there was evidence of metal fatigue where the blade broke off. The shrapnel penetrated the passenger cabin causing explosive decompression inside the aircraft.   Airlines are common carriers and generally owe the "highest duty of care" to fare paying passengers. The case was filed in New York Supreme Court in New York County, Index No. 151536/2020.

About The Law Firm

Jonathan W. Johnson is an attorney located in Atlanta, Georgia who has been involved in the litigation of aviation accident cases for 27 years.  He may be reached at by phone at (404) 298-0795 or by email at  His website is

Jonathan Johnson

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