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Southwest Airlines Broke Safety Promises with Boeing 737 MAX Class Action

This class action brings suit against Southwest Airlines Company, alleging that it breached its Contract of Carriage with its passengers. The complaint alleges it did this “by flying the unsafe, non-airworthy, and defective Boeing 737 MAX, by not sufficiently training its pilots to fly the 737 MAX, and by violating Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations.

The class for this action is all persons who provided valuable consideration, in money or any other form (such as vouchers, miles, or points) in exchange for a ticket for air travel on Southwest Airlines, where the travel took place between August 29, 2017 and March 13, 2019.

The 737 MAX was involved in two terrible crashes, Lion Air Flight 610 on October 29, 2018 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 on March 10, 2019. On March 12, 2019, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) suspended all flights of the 737 MAX into, within, and out of Europe. On the following day, the FAA grounded the 737 MAX.

The problem, to begin with, was its Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS). The complaint alleges, “The MCAS activated automatically when an angle of attack (‘AoA’) sensor on the plane communicated to the MCAS that the plane’s AoA (i.e., the angle between the wing and the direction of the oncoming air) was too steep and thus the wings might lose lift and the plane could stall.”

When it received this information, the complaint claims, the MCAS would “relentlessly push the plane’s nose downwards despite any countermands from the pilots to pull the nose upwards.” The complaint alleges, “The MCAS played a prominent role in causing the fatal crashes of Flight 610 and Flight 302.”

Another major problem was that pilots for the 737 MAX were not told about this system, and the system did not give pilots any notice when before it went into action. Because they were not even told about the system, they also did not receive any training on what to do if it began to push the plane’s nose downwards, heading for a crash at 700 miles per hour.

The MCAS was invented to counteract a design flaw in the 737 MAX. Boeing wanted the 737 MAX to be more fuel-efficient, which meant it needed bigger engines. To permit this, the engines were mounted farther forward and higher on the wings. However, this changed the aerodynamics of the plane, the complaint claims, “by potentially causing the aircraft to pitch upward.” This can increase the plane’s angle of attack, losing life and posing the risk of a stall.

The MCAS was supposed to counter this. The complaint goes into problems with this system in more detail. However, the complaint alleges that the FAA was not properly advised of the MCAS or its functions. In fact, the complaint alleges that “Southwest actively worked to prevent the inclusion of the MCAS in the 737 MAX documentation…”

The complaint alleges that Southwest broke its promises of safety to passengers in multiple ways.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Contract

Most Recent Case Event

Southwest Airlines Broke Safety Promises with Boeing 737 MAX Complaint

August 26, 2021

This class action brings suit against Southwest Airlines Company, alleging that it breached its Contract of Carriage with its passengers. The complaint alleges it did this “by flying the unsafe, non-airworthy, and defective Boeing 737 MAX, by not sufficiently training its pilots to fly the 737 MAX, and by violating Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations.

Southwest Airlines Broke Safety Promises with Boeing 737 MAX Complaint

Case Event History

Southwest Airlines Broke Safety Promises with Boeing 737 MAX Complaint

August 26, 2021

This class action brings suit against Southwest Airlines Company, alleging that it breached its Contract of Carriage with its passengers. The complaint alleges it did this “by flying the unsafe, non-airworthy, and defective Boeing 737 MAX, by not sufficiently training its pilots to fly the 737 MAX, and by violating Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations.

Southwest Airlines Broke Safety Promises with Boeing 737 MAX Complaint
Tags: Breach of Contract