Passenger Sues Southwest Over Trauma After Fatal Blast On Flight

Lilia Chavez claims she's suffering from injuries including post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety, and seeks compensatory and punitive damages.

Passenger Sues Southwest Over Trauma After Fatal Blast On Flight

Southwest flight 1380 suffered an "apparent in-flight engine failure" of its left engine.

Southwest Airlines has been sued by a passenger who witnessed what happened after an exploding engine part shattered a cabin window 20 minutes into a flight from New York-LaGuardia airport.

Lilia Chavez said she was sitting three rows behind the shattered window and saw other passengers struggle to pull a woman back into the cabin after she had been partially sucked through the window. The woman, Jennifer Riordan, died.

Chavez claims she's suffering from injuries including post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety, according to a complaint filed Thursday in federal court in Philadelphia. She's asking for compensatory and punitive damages for the carrier's reckless misconduct and disregard for her safety and well-being.
 
southwest flight

The damaged Southwest Airlines plane being examined in Philadelphia (Reuters)


The airline said last week it is providing $5,000 checks and $1,000 travel vouchers to passengers who were aboard the April 17 flight to Dallas.

Chavez's lawsuit also names CFM International, a joint venture between General Electric Co.'s aviation business and a division of France's Safran SA, which built the airplane's engine.

The National Transportation Safety Board is trying to determine why a fan blade tore loose, shattering the CFM engine and shooting fragments at a wing and the fuselage of the Boeing Co. 737-700. Federal investigators found signs of metal fatigue where the blade broke off.
 
southwest plane crash

This photo shows inside a Southwest airplane sitting on the runway of the Philadelphia airport shows


Southwest said it can't comment on any pending litigation.

"Our focus remains on working with the NTSB to support their investigation," the carrier said in an email. "The safety and security of our employees and customers is our highest priority at all times."

The case is Chavez v. Southwest Airlines Co., 18-1769, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia).

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)