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3 passengers on the Alaska Airlines blowout flight are suing the carrier and Boeing for $1 billion

Boeing 787 Max 9 interior showing missing door plug in NTSB photo of Alaska Airlines emergency landing
The fuselage plug area of Alaska Airlines Flight 1282.National Transportation Safety Board via AP
  • Three passengers are suing Alaska Airlines and Boeing for $1 billion.

  • The law firm said the "preventable incident" jeopardized the lives of 180 people.

  • It follows a class-action lawsuit filed in January on behalf of 14 passengers.

Three people who were on board Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 are asking for $1 billion in punitive damages from the carrier and Boeing.

Kyle Rinker, Amanda Strickland, and Kevin Kwok flew on the Boeing 737 Max 9 which lost its door plug in midair on January 5, according to a press release from the aviation law firm Jonathan W. Johnson LLC.

The blowout caused an uncontrolled decompression, meaning oxygen masks were deployed before the jet returned to Portland International Airport 20 minutes later. Nobody was seriously injured.

The lawsuit was filed last month in Multnomah County, which includes Portland, Oregon.

In its press release, the law firm said it "seeks to hold Boeing accountable for its negligence which had caused extreme panic, fear, and post-traumatic stress."

It added that it is asking for "substantial" damages because the "preventable incident" risked the lives of 180 people.

A screenshot of a tweet from Kyle Rinker shows a hole in the side of Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 and oxygen masks deployed.
Plaintiff Kyle Rinker tweeted a photo of the hole on Alaska Airlines Flight 1282.Courtesy of Jonathan W. Johnson LLC.

Referring to the subsequent grounding of 171 Max 9 jets, the law firm said, "the defects in manufacturing impacted numerous other aircraft and threatened the lives of the passengers on all Boeing 737 Max 9 aircraft."

The door plug — which covers a deactivated emergency exit on configurations with a smaller capacity — came off after the plane left Boeing's factory missing key bolts, the National Transportation Safety Board said in its preliminary report into the incident.

According to CBS News, the lawsuit says the blowout is "just one terrible chapter in the evolving story of Boeing and Alaska Airlines placing profits above safety."

The complaint follows a class-action lawsuit against Boeing and Alaska Airlines filed in January on behalf of 14 people.

It said one of them was hit in the face by debris that came out of the cockpit, several struggled with their oxygen masks, and one man had a stress-related seizure after landing.

Boeing declined to comment when contacted by Business Insider. Alaska Airlines did not immediately respond to a request for comment, made outside regular US working hours.

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