Boeing Is Being Sued By Flight Attendants Who Claim They Were Exposed to 'Toxic' Air

The Chicago Tribune is reporting that flight attendants are suing the multinational corporation Boeing for allegedly exposing them to "toxic" air while in their planes.

All the employees worked for Alaska Airlines and they claim that the company knowingly exposed crews and passengers to toxic air that was sucked into the planes by their engines. The story quotes the employees' lawyer, Attorney Rainey Booth, who insists that Boeing has known about the contaminated air for years. "Our focus is on Boeing not fixing a problem they've known about for more than 60 years," he told the paper, "The risk to any individual passenger might be low on a daily basis, but what we know is, every day people in this country are exposed.

During a trip, between Boston and San Diego in 2013, some flight attendants passed out and one vomited. They attendants claim that their problems were created by toxic fumes which were coming through the vents. Vanessa Woods, a plaintiff in the lawsuit, told the Tribune that she remembers, "walking down the aisle and just gripping the seatbacks because I felt like I was going to fall over. The next thing I know, I was on the galley floor, looking up at [another attendant] who was paging for assistance. She was mumbling incoherently into the PA system. It was beyond frightening."

The company has previously insisted that the air in their planes has never been toxic, but lawsuit quotes an internal email that a Boeing engineer wrote in 2007. In reference to the fumes he wrote, "I think we are looking for a tombstone before anyone with any horsepower is going to take interest." 

All commercial aircrafts created by Boeing use bleed-air systems, besides their 787 Dreamliner. That means that compressed air is taken from the compressor stage of the engine. Criticism of bleed air systems has emerged in other places recently. This month it was announced that a cabin crew will take action against British airlines because they claim the planes made them ill. 


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