Clifford Law Offices filed two more lawsuits in Illinois against United Airlines – now totaling nine —  on behalf of two women who were on a flight that took off from Denver when one of its engines exploded and caught fire, forcing the aircraft to return to the airport on Feb. 20, 2021.

Cynthia Pugh, 61, and Kelli Dennis, 60, both of Raymore, MO, were seated on UA Flight 328, a Boeing 777-222, that was en route to Honolulu when four minutes after takeoff the right engine failed and was engulfed in flames. Pilots were forced to turn back to Denver as passengers witnessed the plane’s engine on fire on the right side of the wing and engine debris falling to the ground. A loud bang could be heard on the plane’s cockpit voice recorder that was later recovered.  Pilots were able to land the plane with one engine 24 minutes later.

A couple from Denver, Colorado, Frances, age 68, and Robert, 70, Brown, who were sitting on the right side of the plane began taping the engine on fire on their cell phone.  They, along with multiple other passengers, suffer from significant trauma and distress as a result of the incident that they thought would be their last moments of life. 

Clifford Law Offices also has filed individual lawsuits on behalf of a couple from King of Prussia, Pennsylvania; a man from Woodstock, Maryland, outside of Baltimore; a man from Idaho and a passenger from Hawaii. 

The civil lawsuits seek monetary compensation in the Circuit Court of Cook County for personal, pecuniary and emotional damages as a direct result of the emotional trauma passengers experienced on that flight.

“This incident should not have happened from the start,” said Robert A. Clifford, founder and senior partner at Clifford Law Offices in Chicago, an internationally renowned aviation firm. He is lead counsel in the consolidated litigation involving a Boeing 737 MAX airliner that crashed in Ethiopia two years ago killing all 157 onboard. He represents the families of 72 of those victims.  “Maintenance and inspection protocols should be in place that would prevent this type of horror from happening in the first place.  These lawsuits will get to the bottom of what happened here so that these passengers can try to find some peace of mind as they attempt to continue with their lives.”

Video taken by the Colorado couple while on board showed the engine fully engulfed in flames as the plane flew with 239 people on board. Pieces of the aircraft were discovered on the ground below, including debris that had crashed through a home and other pieces that had narrowly missed a half-dozen teams at soccer practice on a nearby field. 

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is conducting an investigation into the incident.