Severe Turbulence Injures 36 on a Hawaiian Airlines Flight 35 Airbus 330 Airplane Near Honolulu, Hawaii
December 19, 2022
On Sunday, December 18, 2022, a Hawaiian Airlines Flight 35 Airbus 330 airplane bound for Honolulu, Hawaii from Pheonix, Arizona experienced severe turbulence injuring 36 of the 288 people on board. The Airbus 330 passenger plane landed at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport.
According to CNN news, eleven passengers were reported to be in serious condition, and “among those transported to the hospital was a 14-month-old child.” Passenger and crew injuries included a severe “head injury, lacerations, bruising and loss of consciousness.” The unexpected turbulence happened 15 to 30 minutes before the Airbus 330 airplane landed at its destination in Honolulu, carrying 278 passengers and 10 crew members.
According to media reports, the National Weather Service had issued a weather advisory for thunderstorms northeast of Maui — which would have included the area in the flight path.
Hawaiian Airlines Flight 35 Turbulence In the Media
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is currently investigating the incident.
Establishing Liability in a Turbulence Case
Determining airline liability for injuries sustained by a passenger during the course of a turbulence encounter remains the focus of a great deal of litigation. For the Journal of Air Law and Commerce, Kreindler aviation attorneys produced the article, “Handling the Turbulence Case.” Litigating a turbulence case often involves a passenger or passengers being injured during an unannounced turbulence episode. These claims are typically denied, with the airline attempting to disclaim liability on one of two grounds:
- the turbulence could not have been reasonably anticipated
- the passenger failed to follow in-flight safety precautions or abide by timely warnings
Kreindler Lawyers’ Experience with Inflight Injury Cases
Kreindler attorneys have successfully handled numerous inflight injury cases, including representing many clients who were seriously injured following their flight encountering severe turbulence.
Spielberg v. American Airlines, Inc.
Kreindler attorneys, led by partners Dan Rose and Jim Kreindler were successful in obtaining a record amount of compensation for a case involving emotional distress caused by severe turbulence. In our case, Spielberg v. American Airlines, Inc., passengers experienced 30 seconds of severe turbulence during American Airlines flight 58 from Los Angeles to New York. In addition to the record award on behalf of 13 passengers, Kreindler landmark victory resulted in American Airlines admitting liability.
Southwest Flight 1380
Kreindler successfully represented multiple injured passengers and the family of the sole passenger who was killed during the flight of a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 as a result of the mid-air fracture of a cabin window and the subsequent rapid depressurization of the aircraft.
USAir Turbulence Case
Kreindler represented a passenger who was seriously injured on a USAir flight that encountered severe turbulence with no warning to the passengers. Our client, who was returning to his seat from the lavatory, was thrown into the roof of the plane and suffered a spinal cord injury that left him a paraplegic.
American Eagle Airplane Weather-related Crash
Kreindler represented severely injured passengers following the plane overrunning a landing strip while avoiding thunderstorms.
Continental Auto-Pilot Failure
Kreindler represented flight attendants who sustained injuries after being thrown to the ceiling following the airplane experiencing auto-pilot issues.
Alaska Air Cabin Depressurization
Kreindler successfully represented a seriously injured passenger following a sudden cabin depressurization incident case.
Learn more about Kreindler’s Leading Aviation Accident Law Practice.
About Kreindler & Kreindler
Kreindler is the preeminent aviation accident law firm in the world. The industry’s leading treatise for legal professionals, Aviation Accident Law, was written by the attorneys of Kreindler & Kreindler, and continues to be updated each year by the firm. Since 1950, Kreindler has fought diligently to achieve a record of success in resolving plane and helicopter crash cases on behalf of our clients, both domestic and abroad. Kreindler has law offices in New York, Boston and Los Angeles.
image credit: Hawaiian Airlines Airbus 330 by Aero Icarus