United hit by class action: it caused its passengers “fear for their lives”


March 12, 2021 / United Airlines (UA) will be taken to court by one of the passengers of its flight 328, which was forced to make an emergency landing at Denver International airport (DEN) on February 20. The flight, operated by one of its Boeing 777-200s (N772UA) had just departed the Colorado hub bound for Honolulu (HNL) with 231 passengers onboard, as its right engine caught fire causing the engine cowling to separate from it. The images of the ‘naked’ Pratt & Whitney PW4000 on fire, taken by one of the passengers and then published on social networks were seen all over the world.

Large pieces of the engine fell on the ground in a Denver suburb, luckily causing no fatalities nor injuries, and the aircraft executed an emergency landing at DEN twenty-three minutes after it had left the airport. None of the travellers reported injuries, but it is easy to imagine the terror of all onboard.

In the class-action lawsuit filed at a Colorado court on March 7, one of the passengers aboard United Airlines Flight UA328 claims to have suffered emotional distress as a result of the high-profile engine failure. The plaintiff’s legal representation says in the filing that passengers were left to ‘fear for their lives’ for 20 minutes, causing foreseeable and severe emotional distress.

According to simpleflying.com, attorney Jonathon Corbett claimed that distress has been a direct result of United failing to “properly inspect and maintain its aircraft”. The lawsuit states that the plaintiff, a resident of Carmel, Indiana, and others onboard suffered physical symptoms including nausea, symptoms of shock and, following the flight, insomnia.

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