Flight 2276 passengers bring law suit in Illinois court

Wisner Law Firm of Geneva, Illinois, in association with Stewarts Law of London, has brought a law suit in Chicago against Boeing and General Electric on behalf of 65 passengers who suffered injury when a British Airways Boeing 777 suffered an uncontained catastrophic engine failure and fire on take-off at Las Vegas in September 2015. The lawsuit was filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, where Boeing has its headquarters.

British Airways Flight BA2276 from Las Vegas to London Gatwick suffered an uncontained engine failure during its take off roll, with shrapnel-like debris fracturing fuel and hydraulic lines and starting a fire in the main fuselage. The Boeing 777 was moments away from becoming airborne, but the crew made a successful emergency stop. The international group of passengers, from the US, UK, Northern Ireland, Ireland and Germany, suffered both physical and psychological injuries in the incident and are seeking damages for pain, suffering, emotional stress as well as financial losses.

Plaintiffs allege that at the time of the accident the Boeing aircraft, equipped with GE engines, was defective and unreasonably dangerous in a number of important respects. They allege that the components within the High Pressure compressor Section of the GE90-85B engine were known by Boeing and GE to be subject to fracture and failure which could lead to an uncontained engine failure. Four years ago, in August 2011, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), issued a mandatory Airworthiness Directive, requiring detailed inspection of parts of the HP compressor section due to safety concerns. The FAA determined that there was indeed an unsafe condition in the engine that could lead to an uncontained engine failure and damage to the airplane. Plaintiffs contend Boeing and GE lobbied the FAA and attempted to play down the safety implications of the Airworthiness Directive by unsuccessfully urging the FAA to remove its finding of this “unsafe condition.” It is not clear why the High Pressure compressor section of the GE-90 engine on BA2276 failed, when a detailed inspection program had been implemented. Further details from the US accident investigation team at the National Transportation Safety Board are awaited.

One of the passengers who is a plaintiff in the Illinois lawsuit is Dominic Worthington, from London.

“As the plane was accelerating down the runway, there was a loud bang, and a sudden emergency stop. First of all the crew told us to stay seated but I remember people then started screaming “there’s a fire, there’s a fire!”

“I remember looking out the window and seeing smoke filling the air and I thought the whole aircraft was going to erupt in flames. We were then quickly ordered to evacuate. I remember an incredibly brave lady with a baby struggling to get off the plane quickly. Everyone was trying to help each other off the plane. As soon as we were off the plane I remember everyone running from the plane and looking back to see flames engulfing the aircraft, rising high above it. I was sure that if the flames reached the fuel lines then the whole aircraft would explode and we would all be killed so I ran even harder. It felt like we had a matter of seconds before it could have escalated into a disaster”

“I still suffer from the incident and have sleepless nights, flashbacks and stress. It’s difficult to get over something like this, you just don’t expect it would ever happen to you. Despite my struggle to get over the incident I know we are all very lucky not to have been more seriously injured.”

Floyd Wisner of Wisner Law Firm said:

“The interim report from the NTSB clearly states that there was an uncontained failure within the High Pressure compressor section of the GE-90 engine, which caused serious damage to the British Airways Boeing 777 at a critical time during its take-off roll. Given the safety concerns expressed by the FAA in 2011 over this component of the GE-90 engine, our clients deserve to learn the truth of how this failure happened.”

For further information, please contact:

Floyd Wisner
Wisner Law Firm, P.C.
514 W. State Street Suite 200
Geneva, IL 60134
630-262-9434
faw@wisner-law.com