2017 has not been a great year for the airline industry when it comes to customer service problems and personal injury lawsuits. This year alone, there have been several high-profile incidents involving possible abuses of customers on major airlines, including:
- The infamous United Airlines incident in April, in which a man was forcibly dragged from his seat when he refused to leave the airplane due to overbooking. As a result of his confrontation with airline security officers, the passenger suffered a concussion and the loss of several teeth.
- An incident on American Airlines in which a mother of twins alleged that a flight attendant hit her with a stroller during boarding of an aircraft. When a fellow passenger called out the flight attendant in question, he responded by challenging the passenger to a physical fight.
- An incident involving a brawl between two women on a Delta Airlines jetway in which a Delta pilot got involved after trying to defuse the situation, and can be seen on video slapping one of the women and telling her to “knock it off.”
The latest incident to strike a major airline, this time US Airways and American Airlines, involves a personal injury suit by a wheelchair-bound passenger who alleges that she was injured while being helped to board a plane. Latoya Lewis’s lawsuit alleges that, on September 11, 2015, she suffered a fracture of her right femur when her leg got caught under a passenger seat while being assisted by an airline employee at an airport in Philadelphia. The basis of her claim is an allegation that American Airlines was negligent and failed to adopt the proper safety programs that would have prevented her injury.
As common carriers, airlines owe an extraordinary duty of care to their passengers. This is a legal standard that is much higher than ordinary negligence, and means that, in actions for negligence and in cases of loss, the presumption is against the common carrier, and no excuse will be available to the common carrier unless the loss was the result of an act of God or public enemies. However, American Airlines has sought to dismiss Lewis’s case, claiming that she failed to prove recklessness on the part of the airline, that her complaint lacked “sufficient factual matter,” and that it did not prove that the airline employee’s conduct was “malicious, wonton, willful, or oppressive.” Lewis has requested a jury trial and a judgment against the airline in an amount that exceeds $150,000 plus interest, court costs, and punitive damages.
Contact an Atlanta Personal Injury Attorney Today to Schedule a Free Consultation
If you were injured by an airline (or any other company), you may be able to seek compensation.Contact the attorneys at Slappey & Sadd for a free consultation by calling 404.255.6677. We serve the entire state of Georgia, including the following locations: Gwinnett County, Newton County, and Richmond County.