Southwest Employee Sues Over Husband's Death

Update: The below story was published on April 29th. A judge dismissed the case. This suggests that allowing this litigation could result in a flood of lawsuits. (Thanks to Paddle Your Own Kanoo). The judges' ruling:The Courts balance heavily depends on Maryland's third-party liability case law. Its emphasis on limiting future plaintiffs greatly influences the Courts balancing. It is actually the dispositive weight in favor of finding no duty, despite the fact the Courts balance the case considering a narrow majority of factors including foreseeability favor imposing duty. Maryland courts have clearly defined their priorities in regard to third party duties. The court stated that the possibility of unstemmed third-party plaintiffs bringing suits predominates duty analysis.The original post can be found below.This is a sad story and it's hard to decide what to do with this lawsuit.Southwest Flight Attendant Blames Airlines for Husband's DeathCarol Madden, a 69 year-old Southwest Airlines flight attendant from Baltimore, is suing Southwest Airlines over the death of her husband, 73 years old. This happened shortly after he was tested positive for coronavirus.Madden filed a lawsuit in US District Court Maryland for wrongful death. He is seeking more than $3 million in damages and accusing the company de negligence.Madden traveled to Baltimore International Airport in July 2020 to complete her recurrent flight attendant course, which is a 1-day course. All flight attendants must complete this federally required training each year.Just days after the course, both her and her husband were tested for coronavirus. His oxygen levels dropped and he died a few weeks later. He was diagnosed with pneumonia.Madden was active during the pandemic and stated that her husband would still be alive if Southwest's safety protocols were the same in training as they are onboard planes.They were cleaning the seats. They were cleaning out the air vents. They were also cleaning the seat belts. Each touch point was cleaned. They didn't do that last year in my training. They didn't love me back, even though I love my airline.Madden asserts that masks were not required at the training centre.Instructors and flight attendants were not screened for symptoms of coronavirus before or during their daylong training. They also weren't asked about coronavirus exposure.Between uses, the human-sized dummy, which was used for self-defense training and fire extinguishers, wasn't destroyedThe social distancing of flight attendants was minimal, as they sat at tables less than four feet apart.Another flight attendant tested positive for coronavirus at the recurrent training. Madden was not informed directly by the airline but was informed via a Facebook post.Southwest moves to dismiss the lawsuitSouthwest filed a motion for dismissal, expressing sympathy to Madden but not blaming them for his death.According to the airline, there is no way to determine where she contracted coronavirus. According to the airline:Although the claims in the complaint are understandable, they are not actionable under law.This is just tragicThis is a terrible story. Madden is a survivor of cancer and has been married for 35 years to her husband. After pursuing other career options, Madden became a flight attendant when she was 64.She stated that this career was possible because of her husband's support. He drove her to and from the airport and took care of the house, even though he was now retired.Here's my opinion on the merit of the suit. But, let me be clear that I am not a lawyer.There are many frivolous lawsuits, but this one doesn't seem to be one. If Maddens story is true, it seems like Southwest should have taken extra precautions to ensure safety during training. The airline should also have informed Madden that another person at the event had tested positive.It is surprising that there haven't been more lawsuits over coronavirus-related deaths or illnesses. Employers have an obligation to create a safe working environment.Southwest's defense seems to be that Madden cannot prove she contracted coronavirus at the training centre, and that the companys duty does not extend to spouses.While I am curious to see what happens in this case, Madden is my worst nightmare and I wish her all the best. This is heartbreaking. I cannot imagine what she went through.Bottom lineAfter testing positive for coronavirus in her husband, he died at the Southwest Airlines flight attendant's home. She is now suing Southwest Airlines. According to the flight attendant, she contracted coronavirus from Southwest's training center because of lax safety protocols and then gave it her husband. This is a very sad story.What extent do you believe Southwest is responsible?