A federal court judge has dismissed allegations of negligence filed by a Southwest Airlines flight attendant blaming the airline for her husband's COVID-related death, saying that allowing disputes could lead to a flood of lawsuits.
Flight attendant Carol Madden said she fell ill with COVID-19 three days after attending training required by the Dallas-based airline in July 2020, and her husband fell ill 10 days later and died of the virus' complications in August. 2020, according to Wednesday's decision by the US District Court in Baltimore William Madden's property al. v. Southwest Airlines Co.
The court weighed various factors to consider whether the airline had an obligation to protect Madden before the final risk of many lawsuits was the prevailing factor.
"Cumulatively, Maryland's third-party case law and its emphasis on limiting the class of future lawsuits strongly informs the court's balancing," Judge Stephanie A. Gallagher ruled.
"no duty" here, although the sheer majority of factors, including predictability, favor the introduction of duty.
"Maryland courts have clarified their priorities with respect to third party obligations and the prospect of an untamed and poorly defined tide of third parties complaining outweighs the customs analysis," the court said, dismissing the dispute.
Ms Madden's attorney, Dan R. Mastromarco of the Mastromarco Firm PLLP in Annapolis, Maryland, said he had no comment on the decision and "considered the many options available to us."
Southwestern lawyers did not respond to a request for comment.
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