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Our Tennessee Attorneys Discuss Injuries Caused by Faulty Airplane Door Plugs

GriffithLaw helps people injured in Tennessee aviation accidents, including those who are hurt as a result of faulty door plugs on an airplane. Our experienced personal injury attorneys are knowledgeable about aviation law and want to make sure you know your rights if you are injured as a result of a faulty airplane door plug. The Griffith law team is here to provide you with the legal support you need to get fair compensation for injuries incurred in a Tennessee aviation accident.  

Airplane Door Plugs Explained

A door plug is a wall panel that can be used in place of an airplane door in certain situations. In some cases, these panels have malfunctioned, falling off of the plane and causing injuries to people on board. In one case that occurred in January 2024, Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 experienced a rapid decompression at a height of 16,000 feet, after the panel tore off and left a hole the size of a refrigerator in the side of the jet.

The aircraft, a Boeing 737 Max 9, was able to land safely, but several passengers were injured. Soon after, United Airlines announced that it had found loose bolts on door plugs on several Boeing 737 Max 9s.

Response to Faulty Door Plug Findings

This finding led to the grounding of all 737 Max 9s that operated in the United States or were flown in U.S. territory and were equipped with door plugs, which meant flights intended to be completed by those jets were canceled.

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) investigation was launched. When this was completed, planes that had been inspected were allowed to return to service. It was recommended that operators of this aircraft and others with a similar type of door plug visually inspect the door plugs to ensure they are secure before flights.

Why Door Plugs Are Used on Planes

The number of doors required on a jet is determined by how many passengers it can hold. When fewer seats are added to the plane, a door plug is sometimes allowed. United and Alaska Airlines are the domestic carriers that sometimes use door plugs on the type of jet in question. Several international airlines also use them.

Aviation Accident Injuries Caused by Faulty Door Plugs

Many different types of injuries could occur from a defective door plug or a malfunction. In the 2024 Alaska Airlines example, passengers are alleging injuries such as:

  • Intense fear
  • Trauma
  • Physical pain
  • Bleeding ears
  • Bruising

Liable Parties in Airplane Door Plug Injuries

Injuries on airplanes often allow for multiple defendants to be held liable. The details of each incident determine who is responsible.

The Commercial Airline

Commercial airline carriers are responsible for any negligence by their employees under the Federal Aviation Act. If an airline employee did not fulfill some obligation to keep customers safe from faulty door plugs, the airline could be found responsible for injuries that occurred.


The company that built the plane with a faulty door plug could be held responsible if injuries occurred and:

  • The design was defective
  • They did not disclose potential problems
  • Defects occurred while the plane was being assembled

Maintenance Crews

Airlines often hire mechanics and maintenance workers from third parties. These contractors are supposed to identify and replace any parts that are worn or broken. If they fail to complete thorough inspections or provide poor workmanship, they can be found liable.

Pilot and Cabin Crew

If the pilot or other cabin crew members failed to take the required steps to keep passengers safe, they could also be named as defendants.

How We Can Help

If you were injured by a defective or malfunctioning door plug, you need to seek out medical care immediately, to document the full extent of your injuries. After that, you should call GriffithLaw if the event occurred in Tennessee so that we can have the best possible chances of getting you the settlement you deserve. The lawyers on our team consistently do the things that are needed to secure fair settlements for our clients.


We offer a no-cost consultation and work on a contingency fee, meaning that you will know right away if we can take your case and what we expect to charge you. You will not have to pay us unless you win your case.

Gathering Evidence

In addition to any evidence you provide to us, we will collect witness statements, take photos, prevent the spoilage of black box recordings, and hire experts to support your case.

Determining Liability

We will review which parties failed to complete their duties to keep passengers safe and work to hold them accountable.

Calculating Damages

It is difficult for the average person to know what price tag to put on the life-changing difficulty they may endure after an aviation injury. An experienced injury lawyer who knows Tennessee aviation laws can ensure you don’t accept a settlement that is too low, but instead receive what you deserve.

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