American Airlines Receives “Nuisance claim” Over Drunk Passenger Who Sexually Assaulted Woman
A female passenger filed a Federal lawsuit against American Airlines on Wednesday alleging that an intoxicated male passenger sexually assaulted her aboard an American Airlines operated aircraft after he was served too much alcohol.
According to the Dallas News, Aubrey Lane alleges that American failed in its duty to protect her and other passengers when they allowed a visibly drunk passenger, who has not been publicly identified, to board a flight from Phoenix to New York on June 16, 2017. The complaint also alleges that American also served the visibly drunk male passenger with six more alcoholic beverages during the six hour flight.
The lawsuit claims the man at some point followed Lane to the bathroom and sexually assaulted her.
In a statement issued by American Airlines’ spokeswoman, Michelle Mohr, and obtained by Fox News, American says that they have yet to receive the lawsuit, but plan to “thoroughly review” it.
“We want all of our customers to have a safe, positive travel experience with us and we are deeply troubled by any allegation of misconduct onboard our aircraft or at any of our facilities. If our crews discover or are told about any alleged illegal misconduct that may occur on the aircraft, law enforcement is contacted and will meet the aircraft upon arrival,” the statement read according to Fox News.
“In all cases of misconduct between two passengers, we will immediately separate them, and request law enforcement meet the aircraft, which is our standard protocol. It is up to law enforcement to determine what, if any criminal activity, took place.”
A passenger known as passenger 12C said she alerted flight attendants twice that the drunk male passenger was making other passengers uncomfortable and it wasn’t until a third complaint — after the man had spilled his beer — that passenger 12C and Lane were moved to different seats.
After the plane landed, Lane was reportedly met by airport police but the man who assaulted her was not apprehended or cited at the time. Ultimately, the local authorities referred the case to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) who is tasked with investigating cases that occur aboard aircrafts.
According to Fox News, Lane claims that an American initially offered her $5,000 for what they described as a “nuisance claim,” but later apologized.
It’s quite sad that American would even think about labeling such serious allegation as a nuisance. In the era of the #MeToo movement and other campaigns to bring about justice and awareness for all, American should have thought twice about even coming close to such a response. While American then apologized, the apology was likely only done due to the backlash it received.