American Airlines Employees File Lawsuit Over Uniforms They Say Are Making Them Sick
A lawsuit claims the uniforms have caused hives, severe headaches, and difficulty breathing.
After months of back and forth, two American Airlines flight attendants, Thor Zurbriggen and Dena Catan, have finally filed a federal lawsuit against Twin Hill, the garment company that manufactures their uniforms. They claim that the outfits are making thousands of employees sick.
The suit asks both Twin Hill as well as the airline to recall all of the uniforms issued to about 60,000 workers. Moreover, the Chicago Business Journal reports that the lawsuit is urging Twin Hill to stop selling the uniforms altogether, and to establish a medical monitoring fund for American Airlines employees.
It is also specifically asking that Twin Hill pay Zurbriggen and Catan individual damages to be determined at trial.
Since the uniforms were distributed in September, more than 5,000 American Airlines employees — including flight attendants, pilots, and gate agents — have filed complaints noting that the uniform has given them a rash, severe headaches, and difficulty breathing, The Dallas Morning News reported.
“One conclusion that is clear, however, is the new uniforms are causing these health problems," the lawsuit reads. “That is the only possible conclusion given that the thousands of American Airlines flight attendants and pilots began reporting serious adverse reactions only after the new uniforms were introduced.”
Months after the uniforms were first distributed, the airline did provide employees with the option to wear an alternative outfit, saying in a statement, “We would never ask our team members to wear an unsafe uniform.”
Twin Hill, however, remains committed to the quality of its work. In a statement, the brand said: “Nothing in the complaint filed by two American Airlines flight attendants changes the fact that there is absolutely no evidence linking any of the symptoms alleged to our uniforms.”
Even if this case fails to make it to trial, however, this is likely not the end of the controversy. According to the Chicago Business Journal, another another group of American Airlines flight attendants may already be preparing a lawsuit against Twin Hill.