CHICAGO (KDVR) – A Chicago law firm said Thursday two more civil lawsuits were filed against United Airlines on behalf of women on board a plane when its engine exploded and caught fire during a flight that took off from Denver in February.
The lawsuits seek monetary in the Circuit Court of Cook County for personal, pecuniary and emotional damages as a direct result of the emotional trauma passengers experienced on that flight, according to Clifford Law Offices.
The lawsuits were filed on behalf of Cynthia Pugh, 61, and Kelli Dennis, 60, both of Raymore, Mo., who were seated on UA Flight 328, a Boeing 777-222, that was en route to Honolulu when four minutes after takeoff, the right engine failed and was engulfed in flames.
Pilots were forced to turn back to Denver as passengers witnessed the plane’s engine on fire on the right side of the wing and engine debris falling to the ground. The law firm said a loud bang could be heard on the plane’s cockpit voice recorder that was later recovered. Pilots were able to land the plane with one engine 24 minutes later.
Clifford Law Offices said a couple on the flight who were sitting on the right side of the plane began taping the engine on fire with their cell phone. They, along with multiple other passengers, suffer from significant trauma and distress as a result of the incident that they thought would be their last moments of life, according to the law firm.
Clifford Law Offices also has filed individual lawsuits on behalf of a couple from King of Prussia, Pennsylvania; a man from Woodstock, Maryland, outside of Baltimore; a man from Idaho and a passenger from Hawaii.
“This incident should not have happened from the start,” Robert A. Clifford, founder and senior partner at Clifford Law Offices, said in a statement released to media. “Maintenance and inspection protocols should be in place that would prevent this type of horror from happening in the first place. These lawsuits will get to the bottom of what happened here so that these passengers can try to find some peace of mind as they attempt to continue with their lives.”
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is conducting an investigation into the incident.