Passenger on fatal Southwest flight sues airline, claims PTSD

A passenger says she is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after witnessing the "horror" of a woman being partially sucked through a shattered window on a Southwest Airlines flight.

Lilia Chavez states in a lawsuit filed Thursday that she was sitting three seats behind Jennifer Riordan, who died from her injuries after an engine exploded during the flight.

The plane was traveling from New York to Dallas on April 17 but was forced to make an emergency landing in Philadelphia. The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Philadelphia, alleges negligence by Southwest.

"Despite knowing of the dangerous condition of the subject aircraft’s engine, the defendants risked the lives of more than a hundred innocent passengers," the filing reads.

RELATED: Southwest plane makes emergency landing in Philly after engine incident

Southwest has canceled at least 40 flights in order to examine engines similar to the one that failed on Flight 1380.

The lawsuit says Chavez, a California native, "prayed and feared for her life" as she heard passengers calling their loved ones. She "contacted her children to tell them that she loved them and that she was preparing to die aboard the crippled aircraft," according to the lawsuit obtained by NPR.

In addition, she is suffering from multiple disorders, including PTSD and depression, according to the suit.

"Ms. Chavez witnessed the horror as the force of the depressurization pulled an innocent passenger partially through the shattered window and she watched as passengers risked their lives to pull the passenger back into the aircraft and save her life," the lawsuit states, according to NPR.

Lawyer Bradley Stoll told NPR that the accident has "crippled" Chavez's will "and she is in shock over this horrible, near-death experience."

Southwest said in a statement that "our focus remains on working with the NTSB to support their investigation."

"We can't comment on any pending litigation," the statement read. "The safety and security of our employees and customers is our highest priority at all times."

With News Wire Services