ANCHORAGE- Three passengers who were onboard an Alaska Airlines (AS) flight, during which an off-duty pilot occupying the cockpit “jump seat” allegedly attempted to disable the plane’s engines, have filed a lawsuit against the Seattle-based airline.
They claim that the airline failed in its duty to ensure flight safety. The lawsuit, which also names Horizon Air as a defendant, arises from an in-flight emergency declared by the crew of Alaska Airlines Flight 2059 over the Pacific Northwest.
Alaska Airlines Faces Lawsuit
It’s worth noting that Horizon Air, the regional subsidiary of the Alaska Air Group, operated the Alaska Airlines flight. This lawsuit, brought by the passengers and represented by The Stritmatter Firm, is the first legal action initiated in response to the incident.
The flight in question was carried out by Horizon Air, which serves as the regional subsidiary of the Alaska Air Group.
This legal action has been initiated in a Washington state court. It is presented as a proposed class-action complaint intended to represent all passengers who were on board the aircraft.
The passengers involved in the lawsuit are requesting a public account from both Alaska Air and Horizon Air regarding why the pilot was not subjected to preflight security screening.
In terms of damages, the lawsuit is seeking both special and general damages, with specific amounts to be determined during a trial. These damages would encompass ticket fees, compensation for psychological distress, physical pain and suffering, and other relevant factors.
The lawsuit also includes a request for injunctive relief, which would compel Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air to carry out evaluations of all prospective flight crew and jump seat passengers, specifically regarding their “mental health status.”
The off-duty pilot, Joseph David Emerson, was occupying the cockpit’s “jump seat” as a standby employee passenger on the Alaska Airlines flight.
Court documents reveal that Emerson informed the police that he had been grappling with depression for the past six months and had consumed “magic mushrooms” approximately 48 hours prior to boarding the plane.
Emerson’s actions led to him being restrained by members of the cabin crew, and the flight was subsequently diverted and safely landed in Portland, Oregon.
The 44-year-old pilot faced charges, including 83 counts of attempted murder, corresponding to every individual on the plane except himself, and a single count of endangering an aircraft.
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