Southwest flight attendants’ lawsuit over Boeing 737 MAX safety dismissed

Eliyahu Yosef Parypa/Shutterstock

On January 11, 2021, a US federal judge rejected Southwest Airlines (LUV) flight attendants’ lawsuit, blaming Boeing for concealing the design and safety defects of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, which resulted in its grounding. The plaintiffs’ argued that the groundings caused financial damage to them in the form of wages and other financial compensation.

US District Judge Robert Gettleman in Chicago found that eight Southwest Airlines (LUV) flight attendants failed to connect Boeing’s alleged misconduct related to the development and launch of the 737 MAX to their own financial losses.

“Complaint is long on the details of defendant’s problems with the aircraft since it first announced its launch in 2011, Southwest Airlines’ (LUV) order for 150 Max aircraft in late 2011, and defendant’s alleged efforts to hide the problems from the public. The complaint is short, however, on how the defendant’s efforts to hide the problems affected the individual plaintiff,” read Gettleman’s statement.

On March 16, 2020, eight Southwest Airlines (LUV) flight attendants sued Boeing, as the manufacturer allegedly hid critical safety and design defects, which resulted in the grounding of the 737 MAX. 

The eight flight attendants required lost wages and other damages that they and approximately 17,000 other Southwest flight attendants allegedly suffered as a result of the Boeing 737 MAX groundings in March 2019.

However, Gettleman argued that “there are no allegations that any of the named plaintiffs were scheduled to work those flights and thus lost income because they get paid per flight.”

Southwest Airlines (LUV), which operates an all-Boeing 737 fleet, had 34 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in its fleet when the aircraft was grounded worldwide in March 2019.

On November 18, 2020, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of the United States ungrounded the Boeing 737 MAX, allowing it to enter commercial service in the country again. Three airlines are now operating the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft on commercial passenger flights: GOL Airlines, Aeromexico and American Airlines (A1G) (AAL).

Related Posts


Stay updated on aviation and aerospace - subscribe to our newsletter!