United sued by passenger who says airline covered up near disaster with bird-strike story

A United passenger filed suit against the airline Wednesday, alleging it lied about an incident that could have killed everyone onboard an October 2018 trans-Atlantic flight from Chicago to London.

“This is the story of how United’s negligence nearly resulted in the loss of all life aboard United Airlines Flight 931 on October 27, 2018, and how United has blatantly lied to its customers to cover up that negligence,” began the lawsuit, filed Wednesday in federal court in San Francisco, where passenger Theodore Liaw resides.

Liaw claims the plane’s sudden descent and subsequent emergency landing in Goose Bay, Canada, was not due to a bird strike, as United had said, but because of a cockpit window that had been damaged by a mechanic who over-tightened bolts while the plane was on the ground. A photo included in the lawsuit shows cracks throughout the left side of the cockpit window.

“That overstressed the cockpit window and caused it to eventually lose its structural integrity when Flight 931 was approximately 40,000 feet in the air,” the lawsuit said.

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