The legal challenge follows a lawsuit filed last month by four elementary school teachers who allege they "were coated with jet fuel dumped from Flight 89."
Delta declined to comment on the litigation, but has issued a statement saying it has “been focused on listening to residents and working closely with local leaders to understand how we can best support those who have been affected.”
Delta representatives attended two town halls in the Los Angeles area, opened a phone line for residents with concerns about property damage and health effects, and set up health screenings last month for those concerned about exposure to jet fuel.
The lawsuit filed on behalf of the three students seeks damages for medical expenses, emotional distress and pain and suffering and other damages, as well as attorneys’ fees.
The attorneys representing the students allege that if pilots had notified air traffic control that they needed to dump fuel, they would have been directed to an altitude or area where they could release fuel “without endangering the population.”
“Delta and its flight crew for Flight 89 had a duty to notify air traffic control of any need or intent to dump jet fuel during a flight, and were aware of or should have been aware that the aircraft was too low to safely dump fuel,” said attorney Matthew McNicholas in a written statement. “This incident brings into question whether this negligence extends into Delta’s policies and protocols.”
The attorneys for the students allege the decision to dump fuel was made with “no regard for the health and welfare of the populated areas below the aircraft.”