Plaintiffs and Counts Added to American Airlines 383 Lawsuit

Plaintiffs and Counts Added to American Airlines 383 Lawsuit as Investigation Reveals Startling Pattern of Uncontained Engine Failure in GE Model Engine

Wisner Law Firm recently filed an amended complaint in the lawsuit against American Airlines, Boeing, and GE arising from the October 28, 2016 engine fire and emergency evacuation of American Airlines Flight 383 at Chicago O’Hare International Airport. The amended complaint nearly doubles the number of plaintiffs adding 16 passengers and 1 bystander to the action. The amended complaint also added counts against American Airlines, Boeing, and GE for negligent infliction of emotional distress. The additional counts allege that the plaintiffs suffered emotional distress as the direct and foreseeable victims of defendants’ negligence.

While the other allegations against the air carrier American Airlines, the aircraft manufacturer Boeing, and the engine manufacturer GE remain the same, Alexandra Wisner, a partner at Wisner Law Firm, stated that their investigation into this uncontained engine failure has led to some startling discoveries. “We were already aware of 2 prior uncontained engine failures involving different model GE engines, including the uncontained engine failure that resulted in fire and emergency evacuation of British Airways Flight 2276 in Las Vegas in which we represented 119 passengers. We have since learned of 3 prior uncontained engine failures involving this model GE engine. In 2000, a US Airways aircraft had an uncontained engine failure during ground testing. In 2002, an Air New Zealand aircraft had an uncontained engine failure six minutes after take-off. In 2006, an American Airlines aircraft had an uncontained engine failure during ground testing. All three of these incidents involved Boeing 767 aircrafts and GE CF6-80 engines – just like American Airlines Flight 383.”

“The recent history of uncontained engine failures is startling for numerous reasons. First, Boeing, GE, and American had firsthand knowledge of the history of uncontained engine failure in this model engine. The aircrafts were all Boeing aircrafts equipped with GE CF6-80 engines. One of the fights was an American Airlines Flight and another was operated by US Airways, which is now owned by American Airlines. Second, the Air New Zealand uncontained engine failure proves that these incidents can happen in flight – posing an even greater safety risk. Third, American Airlines Flight 383 was the second time that a GE CF6-80 engine on a Boeing aircraft sustained an uncontained engine failure resulting in metal propelling through the engine casing, piercing the fuselage, and eventually landing a distance from the aircraft. In short, our initial investigation underscores the culpability of American Airlines, Boeing, and GE and the serious safety risk that is posed by this on-going problem.”

Alexandra Wisner explained that after those incidents, the FAA issued an airworthiness directive calling for immediate inspection of GE CF6-80 engines in order to ascertain whether there were any signs of fatigue cracking – a vulnerability in the turbine disk which can lead to it fracturing under stress. Thereafter, GE altered the shape and composition of the disk to withstand greater stress. Interestingly, the three prior incidents involved the Stage 1 Turbine Disk. American Airlines Flight 383 involved the fracturing of the Stage 2 Turbine Disk. According to Alexandra Wisner, “Clearly, the problem with the fracturing of turbine disks in the GE CF6-80 has not been resolved.”