United Airlines Sued by Family After Flight Nearly Crashed into Pacific Ocean

A family who was flying on a Boeing 777 jet that dropped from the air suddenly not long after it took off and nearly crashed has filed a lawsuit against United Airlines.

The Maltz family says that the scary incident almost killed three generations of their family instantly.

The Daily Beast obtained a copy of the lawsuit, which was filed in federal court in Chicago on April 24. It reads:

“This litigation arises out of the near death of 11 members of the Maltz family on United Airlines Flight 1722 on December 18, 2022, due to the negligence of United Airlines, Inc. and its flight crew.

“As described below, the Boeing 777 aircraft came within seconds of crashing into the Pacific Ocean nearly resulting in the deaths of the entire … Maltz family, and subjecting them to extreme terror and emotional distress during the aircraft’s precipitous dive and near miss with the ocean.”

Scott and Susan Maltz, of California, were flying with their three adult children, their daughter- and son-in-law as well as their four grandchildren. They blame the airline for turning their “idyllic family vacation … into a nightmare,” according to the lawsuit.

In speaking with The Daily Beast, Curt Miner, who is representing the Maltz family as its attorney, commented:

“What is terrifying about the United Airlines incident is that it was a pure case of pilot error — as confirmed by the NTSB — on a major U.S. carrier, on a major route. That is nothing something the American flying public expects to happen in this day and age when traveling [on] domestic airlines.”

According to the lawsuit, the first officer and captain of the flight “failed to properly communicate regarding the aircraft’s flag settings” not long after it departed from the Kahului Airport in Maui. The suit cited an investigation that was conducted by the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board.

The suit alleges that the captain requested a flag setting of five degrees, but the first officer set it to 15 degrees. As the suit reads:

“Due to the failure of the pilots to manage and monitor the airplane’s vertical flightpath, airspeed, flap settings, and pitch attitude following their miscommunication, United flight 1722 suddenly lost altitude and plunged towards the Pacific Ocean.”

The safety systems that are built into the aircraft provided three different warnings to the pilots. The pilots ultimately managed to control the aircraft, but it didn’t happen until it was “merely 748 feet above the surface of the Pacific Ocean,” the suit says.

As it continues:

“Due to the actions of United and its pilots, the aircraft dove at a rate of -8,536 feet per minute towards the surface of the ocean, subjecting the Plaintiffs and the other passengers on United flight 1722, to extreme G-forces, severe terror, emotional distress, mental anguish, anxiety and pain and suffering.”

None of the passengers suffered injuries, but the negligence from United caused the Maltz family “emotional distress, terror, mental anguish, anxiety, a fear of flying, pain and suffering, and other injuries and damages to be proven at trial,” the suit says.