Southwest Airlines: Settlement promotes air safety

As lead counsel in this derivative action, we negotiated a settlement with far-reaching implications for the safety and security of airline passengers. 

Our clients were shareholders of Southwest Airlines Co. (Southwest) who alleged that certain officers and directors had breached their fiduciary duties in connection with Southwest’s violations of Federal Aviation Administration safety and maintenance regulations. Plaintiffs alleged that from June 2006 to March 2007, Southwest flew 46 Boeing 737 airplanes on nearly 60,000 flights without complying with a 2004 FAA Airworthiness Directive requiring fuselage fatigue inspections. As a result, Southwest was forced to pay a record $7.5 million fine. We negotiated numerous reforms to ensure that Southwest’s Board is adequately apprised of safety and operations issues, and implementing significant measures to strengthen safety and maintenance processes and procedures.

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