Court Says Twin Hill Uniforms Didn't Cause Alaska Airlines Cabin Crew Injuries

Twin Hill won a complete defense verdict in a lawsuit filed by Alaska Airlines flight attendants, with the court rejecting all of the flight attendants' claims, including allegations that Twin Hill's uniforms caused skin irritation, hives, headaches, respiratory issues and other alleged injuries.

The litigation was initially filed in 2013 and eventually joined by 164 Alaska Airlines flight attendants.  After a multi-day trial that involved expert testimony regarding the extensive testing done on the uniforms, the court rejected the flight attendants' claims in their entirety, ruling that there was no reliable evidence that Twin Hill's uniforms were capable of causing the injuries claimed.

"We were able to demonstrate to the court, through rigorous testing supported by expert testimony, that our uniforms are safe and could not have caused the injuries these attendants claimed," said Christopher Collopy, vice president of Twin Hill.

In its decision, the court noted that the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), which is part of the Centers for Disease Control, had conducted a detailed evaluation of Twin Hill's uniforms and concluded that it was "not able to relate the symptoms reported by flight attendants to the uniforms."  The court's decision also points to data showing that the flight attendants' symptoms are relatively common in the general population, as well as testing and expert testimony indicating that Twin Hill's uniforms are not capable of causing skin or respiratory irritation or other nonspecific symptoms like headaches.

"At the end of the day, the Plaintiffs' case borders on speculation," the court concluded.  "They have not provided sufficient evidence to overcome the NIOSH findings, and essentially ask the court to join in their speculation that the low levels of chemicals found in the uniforms could have caused their symptoms.  The court declines to do so."

After the court issued its decision, all but eight of the remaining flight attendants agreed to voluntarily dismiss their claims, and the court entered final judgment on Sept. 6, 2016. "We have always known that our uniforms are safe for our customers," Collopy said. "It is good to have this issue behind us."