Flight attendant’s trial over her husband’s death from COVID-19 dismissed


A federal district court judge dismissed negligence charges filed by a Southwest Airlines flight attendant who blames the airline for her husband’s COVID-related death, saying allowing the litigation could result a flood of lawsuits.

Flight attendant Carol Madden said she fell ill with COVID-19 three days after completing required training by the Dallas-based airline in July 2020, and her husband fell ill 10 days later and died of complications from the virus in August 2020, according to Wednesday’s ruling by the U.S. District Court in Baltimore in Estate of William Madden et al. vs. Southwest Airlines Co.

The court assessed various factors to determine whether the airline had a duty to protect Mr. Madden before concluding that the risk of numerous lawsuits was the predominant factor.

“Cumulatively, Maryland’s case law on third party obligations and its focus on limiting the class of potential future plaintiffs strongly informs the balancing of the court,” Judge Stephanie A. Gallagher said.

“In fact, this is the decisive weight on the scales in favor of the ‘no duty’ conclusion here, despite the fact that the slim majority of factors, including predictability, favor the imposition of duties.

“Maryland courts have made their priorities clear with respect to third party obligations, and the prospect of an uncontrolled and ill-defined wave of third party plaintiffs bringing an action predominates in the obligation analysis,” the court said, by dismissing the dispute.

Ms Madden’s attorney, Dan R. Mastromarco of Mastromarco Firm PLLP in Annapolis, Md., Said he had no comment on the decision and “considered the many options available to us. “.

Lawyers in the southwest did not respond to a request for comment.

More news on insurance and risk management on the coronavirus crisis here.


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