American Airlines Didn’t Divert a Flight For a Sick Passenger. Now Her Family Is Suing Over Her Death.
Airlines have had a rough year so far in 2018.
In March, a dog died on a United Airlines flight after the dog’s owner was told to stow the animal in an overhead bin. And earlier this month, a ceiling panel fell on a one-year-old’s head on an American Airlines flight from Hong Kong to Dallas. American Airlines (AAL) has been more broadly accused of rampant racism as well, leading to mandatory company-wide anti-racism training.
Now, the family of a South Carolina woman who died after suffering a medical emergency aboard an American Airlines flight is suing the airline for wrongful death.
The victim, Brittany Oswell, who was 25 years old, suffered an embolism while flying two years ago. According to the lawsuit, the flight crew did not make an emergency landing despite a doctor on the flight telling the crew that the flight needed to be diverted immediately for Oswell to receive medical treatment.
The pilots reportedly ignored the doctor’s request as the flight was 90 minutes from landing at its destination. Before the flight landed, Oswell’s breathing and pulse reportedly stopped, at which time the flight crew attempted and failed several times to use the defibrillator and blood pressure cuffs.
Oswell was transferred to a nearby hospital upon landing and never regained consciousness. She was taken off life support three days after being hospitalized.
Oswell’s mother told ABC News that she believes that the issue was “not taken very seriously,” claiming that her daughter died because “someone made a business decision to keep flying a plane when she needed emergency medical help.”
In a statement to ABC News, American Airlines said, “We take the safety of our passengers very seriously and we are looking into the details of the complaint.”