Losing a loved one is devastating. The pain and anguish that can be left behind can seem unbearable for people and it can certainly be made worse by knowing that a death could have been prevented. When someone dies because of the negligence, inaction or reckless behavior of another person, it may be appropriate for family members to consider filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the party responsible.
This is what one man is doing in New York City after his wife died trying to get back to New York City for medical attention. According to reports, the man and his wife were repeatedly denied air travel back to the U.S. because of the woman’s weight and medical condition, and she passed away before she could get on a flight back home. The woman’s husband has named three airlines in his lawsuit, claiming that they were reckless and willful in their disregard for his wife.
The woman and her husband had flown to Hungary without incident when the woman, who weighed over 400 pounds, began feeling sick. She contacted her doctor back in the United States and was told to get on a plane and come back to New York for medical attention.
The couple purchased tickets on a flight back to the U.S. When they tried to board the plane, they were told there were issues with the seats and the plane could not accommodate the woman’s wheelchair that she needed because she had an amputated leg. They booked another set of tickets, then another and another, each time reminding different airline employees of the woman’s weight and health condition. In each situation, the couple was eventually told that they could not accommodate the woman for a variety of reasons. Before they could confirm yet another block of tickets, the woman died from kidney failure.
In his lawsuit, the husband says that the three airlines with which the couple had booked tickets were negligent in their treatment of his wife. Despite being repeatedly told about his wife’s condition, the airlines continued to accept reservations only to eventually cancel them, making it impossible for the woman to get to New York to receive proper medical attention in time.
Source: ABC News, “Airlines Face $6 Million Lawsuit for Wrongful Death of ‘Morbidly Obese’ Woman,” Genevieve Shaw Brown, Feb. 1, 2013