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United Airlines Falling Pieces and Fire in Engine Class Action

In the news lately has been a horrifying photo, taken aboard a United Airlines plane, with a view out the window to show the engine on the right side of the aircraft damaged and on fire. The complaint alleges, “As a result of United’s failure to properly inspect and maintain its aircraft, one of two engines on this plane spectacularly failed, scattering pieces of the engine cover over Colorado…” It claims negligent infliction of emotional distress on behalf of the passengers on board the plane.

The class for this action is all passengers more than two years old on board UA328 at the time of the engine failure who experienced emotional distress, including persons traveling for free. It does not include all actively working United employees, such as the flight deck crew and cabin crew.

The flight was United Airlines Flight 238, a Boeing 777-200 carrying 231 passengers, which departed from Denver International Airport on February 20, 2021 for Honolulu, Hawaii.

Plaintiff Chad Schnell boarded the airplane in Denver, along with the other passengers. Around four minutes after takeoff, with the airplane at around 12,000 feet, he and the other passengers heard loud noises. After that the aircraft began to shake violently.

The complaint says that Schnell “was able to look out of his window and visibly see pieces of the right engine of this two-engine plane obviously missing, as well as the engine vibrating or bouncing from its normal position on the wing.” Then, a fire appeared inside the engine. Passengers who were unable to see the malfunctioning engine, the complaint says, learned that something was wrong “as a result of the ensuing yelling and chaos.”

According to the complaint, “the pilots cut all fuel and hydraulic fluid to the affected engine.” However, the fire continued to burn.

Air traffic control (ATC) directed the plane back to Denver, cleared the runway, and sent emergency services to meet the plane. The plane landed without any serious injuries.

The complaint says, “Approximately 22 minutes after takeoff—and 18 minutes after passengers were aware of the danger they faced—UA 328 landed without further incident.”

Schnell claims to have suffered “physical symptoms as a result of this intense experience, including: nausea, tachycardia, shaking, symptoms of shock, and following the flight, insomnia.”

The incident may have been caused by metal fatigue in the fan blades of the engine. The complaint notes that on February 13, 2018 “another of the same plane model, with the same engines … had an uncontained engine even that was also caused by a fan blade lost due to metal fatigue.” Both planes had been in use since 1995, making them possibly the oldest planes of that model in commercial use.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Infliction of Distress

Most Recent Case Event

United Airlines Falling Pieces and Fire in Engine Complaint

March 7, 2021

In the news lately has been a horrifying photo, taken aboard a United Airlines plane, with a view out the window to show the engine on the right side of the aircraft damaged and on fire. The complaint alleges, “As a result of United’s failure to properly inspect and maintain its aircraft, one of two engines on this plane spectacularly failed, scattering pieces of the engine cover over Colorado…” It claims negligent infliction of emotional distress on behalf of the passengers on board the plane.

United Airlines Falling Pieces and Fire in Engine Complaint

Case Event History

United Airlines Falling Pieces and Fire in Engine Complaint

March 7, 2021

In the news lately has been a horrifying photo, taken aboard a United Airlines plane, with a view out the window to show the engine on the right side of the aircraft damaged and on fire. The complaint alleges, “As a result of United’s failure to properly inspect and maintain its aircraft, one of two engines on this plane spectacularly failed, scattering pieces of the engine cover over Colorado…” It claims negligent infliction of emotional distress on behalf of the passengers on board the plane.

United Airlines Falling Pieces and Fire in Engine Complaint
Tags: Airlines, Infliction of Emotional Distress, Negligence