American Airlines staff file lawsuit against uniform company

HealthUnited States of America

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Claiming the new uniforms are uncomfortable and even causing health problems, two staff members have filed a lawsuit against the manufacturer.

Concerns raised over passenger safety

Concerns raised over passenger safety
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Two American Airlines flight attendants, Thor Zurbriggen and Dena Catan, are taking uniform manufacturers, Twin Hill, to court.

The company issued over 70,000 new uniforms to American Airlines flight attendants last September. However, the uniforms have caused multiple cases of allergic reactions in the staff they were issued to.

Over 5,000 flight attendants, pilots, gate agents and customer service representatives have complained of health complications since wearing the uniform, such as hives, rashes, headaches and severe breathing problems.

Caton and Zurbriggen are demanding compensation and that Twin Hill pay for a medical evaluation of the employees who wore the uniforms.

Caton's husband, Joe Caton, a pilot, protested about the uniforms at an American Airlines meeting in March. He reported serious symptomatic reactions to the new Twin Hill uniform and pointed out the threat to passenger safety.

Following the complaints, the airline, which is one of the biggest in the world, announced in June that they would no longer trade with Twin Hill and restart the process to find a new uniform supplier.

However, this process will take years and for the time being the staff must continue to wear the harmful uniform.

The lawsuit filed last week is demanding a more immediate solution to the problem after tests found harmful chemicals in the material.

The suit states: "One conclusion that is clear, however, is the new uniforms are causing these health problems. 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."

On the West Coast, a different group of American Airline attendants are also reported to be planning legal action, but an official lawsuit has yet to be launched.

Twin Hill have since issued a statement defending their product saying "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."

American Airlines have also released a statement, their spokesperson, Lakesha Brown claimed the crew were offered alternative uniforms and stated "We would never ask our team members to wear an unsafe uniform."

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