British Airways filed a $3.2 million lawsuit against the city of Chicago, saying construction debris from an expansion project at O’Hare International Airport damaged three of its planes.
The airline claimed that debris from construction work at Terminal 5 were ingested into the engines of its planes, causing damage that resulted in $3.2 million of repairs.
BA accused the city of negligence, saying that it violated the terms of its lease at O’Hare. The suit claims the city didn’t properly inspect the airport’s runways and taxiways, leading to damage to its planes.
The incidents occurred between Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, 2020. The suit claims that during that stretch, debris damaged three Boeing 787 Dreamliner planes. BA said the damage left the aircraft inoperable, leading to the cancellation of several flights. The airline also said that the damaged engines required complete teardowns and inspections.
The expansion of Terminal 5 is a $1.2 billion project that broke ground three years ago. The development, which will span 350,000 square feet, is expected to increase the terminal’s gate capacity by 25 percent, according to a previous report from Urbanize Chicago. A 750,000-square-foot portion of the existing structure is also being renovated to expand security checkpoints and improve baggage handling systems. The new space will also include new airline lounges and concessions.
Once the expansion is complete, Terminal 5 will handle both domestic and international flights. Delta Airlines will be moving in from its Terminal 2.
In a statement, the city said that it has not yet reviewed the complaint. “The city has not had the opportunity to review the complaint and will have no further comment as the matter is now in litigation,” said a spokesperson for the city’s Department of Law.
BA is seeking a reimbursement of what it paid for in repairs as well as damages and attorney’s fees.