Southwest customers are the latest group of plaintiffs to file a class action lawsuit against Boeing and they include Southwest Airlines in the suit filed today. Plaintiffs include Southwest and American Airlines ticketed passengers who purchased tickets between Aug. 29, 2017, until the date when all Boeing 737 MAX aircraft were grounded worldwide.
Plaintiffs contend that Boeing and Southwest misrepresented the safety of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft and that the two companies conspired “to speed the MAX 8’s launch, including by minimizing simulation and testing of the aircraft.” According to the complaint, Southwest wanted to avoid simulator testing to save time and money. Boeing promised that if simulator training were to be required of pilots for the 737 MAX aircraft, it would offer Southwest millions of dollars in rebates.
Plaintiffs also recall that following the second of the two deadly 737 MAX crashes, Ethiopian Airlines flight 302, and despite concerns voiced by Southwest and American Airlines customers on social media, Southwest stood firm in its support for the aircraft. They say in an effort to keep the dangerous aircraft in the skies and not lose money, Southwest echoed Boeing’s assurance of the 737 MAX’s safety publicly including from Southwest’s official Twitter account in response to concerned customers.
The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.
Earlier this year, Boeing shareholders and pilots qualified to fly the 737 MAX aircraft filed separate class action lawsuits.
In April, Richard Seeks filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of Boeing shareholders accusing Boeing of concealing the 737 MAX’s safety problems. The lawsuit alleges securities fraud violations and seeks to recover economic losses suffered by the shareholders as a result of Boeing’s cover up. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
Last month, 400 MAX pilots anonymously filed a separate class action lawsuit. The pilots also point to “an unprecedented cover-up” by Boeing of known design flaws of the MAX that led to the tragic crashes. The pilots filed the lawsuit anonymously for fear of retaliation from Boeing and discrimination from Boeing customers. The claim will be heard in a Chicago court during a hearing slated for Oct. 19, 2019.
Mike Andrews, a lawyer in the firm’s Personal Injury and Products Liability section, focuses much of his practice on aviation accident litigation. He has represented people seriously injured in aviation crashes and the families of those killed in both civilian and military airplane crashes and helicopter crashes. Mike is representing families of Ethiopian Airlines crash victims and is investigating both deadly Boeing crashes on behalf of families. He also has written a book on the subject to assist other aviation lawyers, “Aviation Litigation & Accident Investigation.” The book offers an overview to the practitioner about the complexities of aviation crash investigation and litigation.