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The Associated Press is reporting that four American Airlines flight attendants were awarded $1 million by a California jury in a case where their uniforms caused breathing issues and rashes from the formaldehyde found in the uniforms. Now, the manufacturer, Twin Hill, is bracing for other lawsuits.
The lengthy legal case has finally been settled. The flight attendants began wearing the uniforms in 2016. In 2017, they began to feel ill, developed rashes and breathing problems, and one was even forced to retire due to her poor health. The new uniforms were the first given to flight attendants in over a decade and many were excited to get something new at work.
American gave flight attendants several options to ditch the problematic new uniforms. They could switch to their old ones or even pick an outfit from Macy’s or JCPenney, but the damage had been done. More than 65,000 employees were provided with the uniforms.
The four flight attendants involved in the trial in Alameda County Superior Court now have some restitution coming from what they had to endure. The jury decided that the uniforms provided by Twin Hill Acquisition Co. were a “substantial factor in causing harm,” but also said that the company was not negligent in its design of the garments nor in failing to recall them.
One of the flight attendants in the case, Tracey Silver-Charan, said:
I would wake up and my eyes would be completely swollen. I looked like I had been in a boxing match. I was unable to breathe. I often felt like I was going to pass out on the job. I was coming home and my husband was running me to the urgent care.”
She was awarded $320,000 of the judgment. This case may be just the beginning for the uniform maker as lawyers say that they represent more than 400 other flight attendants who are have similar claims.
Anthony’s Take: I remember hearing about issues with the uniforms several years ago and then had not heard much in a while. Now, it looks like four of the many flight attendants are getting something for the issues caused by these faulty uniforms. It will be interesting to see how many others file lawsuits.
(Image Credits: American Airlines.)
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