Flight attendants sue claiming permanent hearing loss after Boeing aircraft smoke detection alarm malfunctions

HOUSTON — Two flight attendants suffered permanent hearing loss after a Boeing 737’s smoke detection device malfunctioned. 

Lee Marvin Sanders and Matthew Sodrok filed a complaint Nov. 10 in Harris County District Court against The Boeing Company, Kiddie Technologies Inc., and Jamco America Inc., alleging products liability negligence and breach of implied warranties. 

According to her complaint, Sanders and Sodrok were flight attendants on United Flight 1975 traveling from Denver to Houston. They allege that during the flight on the Boeing 737 aircraft, the plane’s smoke detection device in the rear malfunctioned and sounded an “ear-splitting ringing” throughout the aircraft. 

The plaintiffs claim the malfunction caused their ear drums to burst and bleed and has caused them permanent hearing loss. They further claim the alarm went off without any stimuli such as fire or smoke and that it was defective and unsafe for use. The plaintiffs also allege a safer alternative design existed at the time of the detector’s manufacturing which would have prevented or reduced the risk of harm. 

The plaintiffs seek monetary relief of more than $1 million, trial by jury and all other just relief. They are represented by Joshua Davis and Margaret Allbritton of The Davis Law Group in Houston. 

Written by Marian Johns 

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