- A jury awarded $1M+ to 4 American Airlines attendants who said their uniforms made them sick.
- One blamed breathing issues and rashes on formaldehyde in the uniforms.
- Their attorneys now anticipate many other lawsuits against the clothing company, Twin Hill.
A jury in California ruled that a clothing company should pay more than $1 million to four American Airlines flight attendants who said wearing their uniforms made them sick.
The verdict came last week against manufacturer Twin Hill following a lengthy legal battle.
Although the verdict is pending formal approval by a judge, an attorney representing the flight attendants told the Associated Press that this is merely a technicality.
One of the plaintiffs, Tracey Silver-Charan, a flight attendant of 37 years, was awarded $320,000 in the verdict at the Alameda County Superior Court in California, per The Washington Post.
The newspaper reported that another woman, Brenda Sabbatino, received the biggest sum — $750,000. She took early retirement after developing “severe chemical sensitivities,” the newspaper said.
Attorneys told the AP that they represent more than 400 other AA flight attendants who are making the same claims.
Silver-Charan was part of a group of flight attendants who initially filed a lawsuit in 2017.
According to The Post, which interviewed her, she first began to feel "violently sick" at work in 2016.
This was a few months after Twin Hill provided about 1.4 million garments and accessories to more than 65,000 American Airlines employees, The Post reported.
Silver-Charan notified her supervisors of her issues, including rashes, respiratory distress, and feeling faint, according to The Post.
She mentioned that she would curiously feel better once she returned home, the newspaper reported.
In the lawsuit, it was alleged that these problems were caused by formaldehyde applied to cotton blouses to decrease wrinkling.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, formaldehyde can irritate the skin, throat, lungs, and eyes.
Silver-Charan told The Post that she was the allowed to wear her old uniform but her health problems persisted.
She ultimately took six months of unpaid leave from work, according to The Post.
On her return, American Airlines said employees could buy uniforms from mass retailers, but she continued to experience health issues around coworkers who still wore the new uniforms, The Post reported.
She said her eyes looked as if she had been in a boxing match and that she was regularly getting bronchitis and laryngitis, The Post reported.
According to a trial brief reviewed by The Post, American Airlines eventually terminated its contract with Twin Hill.
The airline did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
The Detroit News reported that thousands of flight attendants reported adverse reactions to the uniforms, which included hives, rashes, migraines, respiratory issues, and thyroid problems.
The jury decided last week that the uniforms were a "substantial factor in causing harm" to the flight attendants, but did not find the company negligent in their design or in failing to recall the uniforms, according to the AP.
One of the flight attendants' lawyers, Daniel Balaban, told AP that he was happy with the outcome. He did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
In an email to The Post, Balaban said: "Hopefully, it sends a message to the defendant and insurance companies to try to resolve these cases."
He added: "But if they're not, we're going to try these cases one batch at a time."
It's unclear if Twin Hill is appealing the verdict. The company did not immediately respond to Insider's requests for comment.