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Three Members of Cabin Crew Sue British Airways Claiming They Have PTSD from 2015 Emergency Evacuation

Three Members of Cabin Crew Sue British Airways Claiming They Have PTSD from 2015 Emergency Evacuation

Three members of British Airways cabin crew have been given the green light to sue the airline over the 2015 emergency evacuation of a Boeing 777-200 aircraft at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas. The three crew members helped save the lives of 157 passengers, including one lap infant after the left engine of the jet burst into flames.

Marie Dyos, Lynette Robinson and Suely Goncalves-McLoughlin were part of the 13-member cabin crew team of British Airways flight BA2276 bound from London Gatwick Airport on September 8. 2015.

Robinson and Goncalves-McLoughlin are both claiming £40,000 each, while Dyos is suing the airline for £30,000. The three claim they are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a direct result of the 2015 accident, while one also says her vision has been permanently damaged.

Investigators concluded that a fatigue crack in the high-pressure compressor of the left engine led to an uncontained engine failure during the takeoff roll at McCarran International Airport. The flight crew managed to abort the takeoff in time but a fire and smoke engulfed the engine and part of the plane.

The NTSB found that the Captain failed to turn off the unaffected right-hand engine for 43 seconds after ordering an emergency evacuation. As a result, when two of the emergency slides were activated they were blown out of position rendering the exits unusable.

Photo Credit: NTSB

“The passengers and crew were able to use two of the eight doors to leave the airplane before smoke and fire encroached the fuselage,” noted the final NTSB report on the accident.

Worryingly, the NTSB also found that the captain did not use his quick reference handbook to read and do emergency checklist items during the incident. “Because the captain did not follow standard procedures, his call for the evacuation checklist and the shutdown of the right engine were delayed,” the report, which was published in 2018, explained.

One person was seriously injured in the accident, while 19 others received minor injuries mainly from evacuating the plane on the emergency slides.

Photo Credit: NTSB

British Airways is said to have tried to block the legal case, arguing that the women had already successfully sued Boeing and the engine manufacturer, General Electric in the U.S. over the accident. BA’s barrister claimed a new case would amount to ‘double recovery’ but the judge rejected the airline’s argument.

While the three crew members will not be able to use issues in the engine design as part of their new case, lawyers acting on behalf of the three women are said to be focusing on the alleged inaction of the flight crew in shutting down the engines and following proper procedures.

“I always had the intention of pursuing British Airways,” Robinson reportedly told the court.

“I feel that the settlement (of the U.S. case) was too little. At the time I was not aware that I would be experiencing ongoing symptoms that would be with me in every aspect of my life,” she continued.

“I could not predict then what I am now feeling. Nobody could have gauged what my psychological injuries were and how they would deteriorate.”

The three women claim they are suffering PTSD as a result of being involved in the evacuation, while Goncalves-McLoughlin also has permanent eye damage from being exposed to high velocity particles thrown up by the still running right-hand engine.

British Airways has been ordered to pay £30,000 towards the women’s ongoing legal costs as the case continues. In a statement, the airline said the safety and wellbeing of its passengers and crew were always its highest priority.

“As legal action is on-going, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage,” a spokesperson for the airline told us.

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