Some people love to complain about airlines. Lines are long, flights are delayed and fares are too expensive. These are just some of the annoyances that can come with air travel. However, one Florida family claims that an in-flight meal actually caused the wrongful death of a man. They are suing American Airlines and the catering company for more than $1 million in damages.
According to the lawsuit, a man ate a chicken meal on a flight from Spain to New York. When he and his wife got on their connecting flight to return to Florida, the man was clearly in distress. He was experiencing major cramping and nausea as well as other visible symptoms.
Before they reached their destination in Miami, the plane had to make an emergency landing in Virginia where the man was pronounced dead.
A number of negligent behaviors are being charged in the lawsuit. For starters, the chicken he ate may not have been properly handled or prepared. The family claims the chicken was contaminated with deadly bacteria known as Clostridium perfingens.
Secondly, because he was visibly ill, the airline should not have allowed him to board his flight to Miami without getting medical aid first. Had he remained in New York, he may have gotten the treatment he needed.
American Airlines has not commented on the situation, as litigation is pending. The catering company named in the lawsuit is trying to have the case against them dismissed. According to them, they did not cater that flight and therefore are not at fault.
There is no amount of money that can restore a family after the untimely death of a loved one. This tragic accident did not have to happen, though. Under the law, the family members of a fatal accident victim have the option to file a wrongful death claim. They may be able to receive compensation for their pain and suffering, as well as medical bills and other costs.
Source: ABC News, "American Airlines Sued After Man Dies Following In-Flight Meal," Alice Gomstyn, Nov. 30, 2011