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James Cool
James Cool
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InjuryBoard member leads the fight to hold Southwest Airlines accountable for passenger poisoning

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Injury Board attorney Alisa Brodkowitz recently appeared on Seattle’s King 5 local news (click for video) to discuss her Petition against Southwest Airlines on behalf of twin sisters poisoned by the airline. This saga began in January when Brodkowitz’s clients, Victoria and Valerie Vaughn, passengers on Southwest flight 1705 from Los Angeles, became seriously ill after a mist filled the passenger compartment of the aircraft. Shortly after being exposed to these fumes, the sisters began experiencing pain, blurred vision, slurred speech, and tremors. They were hospitalized. Desperate to find answers to the question of what had poisoned them so that their doctors could treat them properly, the twins sought out Brodkowitz. Brodkowitz, an attorney specializing in aviation law, has extensive experience helping the victims of airline neglect. She filed a Petition asking the court to order Southwest to tell her clients what they had been exposed to.

Unfortunately, this problem is nothing new. Pilots, flight attendants and crew have been experiencing tremors, seizures and other signs of neurological damage for many years. It has been long enough for researchers at the University of Washington to study the phenomenon. After extensive study, Dr. Clement Furlong has a theory that explains the harmful fumes and provides answers to the victims of fume events. Dr. Furlong believes that passengers and crew may be experiencing these symptoms as a result of exposure to an engine oil additive, known as tricresyl phosphate (or TCP). This chemical, can contaminate the cabin air after it enters through the air conditioning system. Meanwhile Boeing, who manufactures all Southwest airlines 737s, insists that its tests reveal that the air in its cabins is safe.