Alaska door plug blowout: Passengers believed they were sending final messages, lawsuit alleges

More passengers have filed a lawsuit against Alaska Airlines and Boeing following the Max 9 mid-flight blowout on Jan. 5, alleging intense fear and trauma from the shocking incident.

Attorney Mark Lindquist filed the lawsuit Monday on behalf of four passengers who were aboard Flight 1282 from Portland to Ontario, California. While the Boeing 737 Max-9 airplane was at 16,000 feet, a door plug blew out and the plane quickly depressurized.

The suit alleges that passengers suffered "intense fear, distress, anxiety, trauma, physical pain and other injuries" during the incident. Lindquist has filed charges of negligence against Boeing and Alaska Airlines, and one count of ‘Strict Product Liability’ against Boeing under Washington law.

Other passengers have sued Alaska Airlines and Boeing, claiming their oxygen masks did not work, while others say their ears bled, and they were bruised by the depressurization.

"Boeing delivered a plane with a faulty door plug that blew out of the fuselage at 16,000 feet and air masks that apparently did not function properly," the lawsuit reads. "Plaintiffs feared the gaping hole in the fuselage, rapid depressurization, and general havoc was a prelude to the plane’s destruction and their own likely death."

The Max 9 was put into service on Oct. 31, 2023, and despite being determined to be unsafe to fly over the ocean, Alaska Airlines officials determined it "was somehow safe enough to fly over land," the lawsuit states.

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"[It's] blind luck that nobody died," said Lindquist.

(Mark Lindquist Law)

According to the lawsuit, some passengers were sending what they believed were their final messages to family members. One text reads, "Mom our plane depressed. We're in masks. I love you."

After the plane made an emergency landing in Portland, Alaska Airlines offered passengers $1,500 and notified them through email. Lindquist says many passengers found it offensive after such a traumatic event.

Lindquist previously represented dozens of families in the two fatal crashes of Boeing 737 Max planes in 2018 and 2019.