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US airline faces lawsuit after its crew 'ignored' calls for help of sexually assaulted mom and daughter

By Melanie Uson Published Jul 30, 2023 4:11 pm

Warning: This article contains mentions of sexual assault. 

A mom and daughter filed a lawsuit against Delta Airlines for its "gross negligence" and demanded compensation after being "blatantly ignored" by its crew when they called for help against a drunk passenger. 

According to the court documents obtained by Fox Business, the assailant was seated next to the victims, enabling him to grope a 16-year-old girl and her mother during a July 2022 flight from JFK Airport in New York City to Athens, Greece. However, the flight crew “blatantly ignored” their concerns and continued to serve the man drinks despite being noticeably intoxicated and aggressive. 

Detailing the incident, the man, who repoetedly had 10 vodka drinks and a glass of wine, tried to talk to the girl. The teen tried to ignore him, but it only prompted his anger and had become much more aggressive. 

 "The intoxicated Delta passenger appeared to be getting drunker and drunker as the Delta flight attendants continued serving him alcohol," the complaint read. 

The man also made "obscene gestures” such as grabbing her and putting his hands on her back while attempting to get her personal information.  

Frightened, the mother told the man that her daughter is in high school, but he just said, “he did not care,” and started to pull the former’s arm. The mom then called the attention of the flight attendant, but they were only told to “be patient.” 

The man continued the inappropriate gestures, such as allegedly “sliding his ‘clammy fingers’ underneath her shirt and groped for the clasp on her bra strap and “placing his hand on the mother's leg and allegedly ‘began moving his hand’ up the inside of her thigh.”  

The mother demanded the crew to change their seats, but said that “there was nothing they could do.” 

The crew attempted to scold the man, but it made him become aggressive and call the victims, “f---king bitches.” 

Passengers also noticed the man’s aggression. One male passenger offered to switch seats with the minor to sit between the drunk man and the mother in the remaining hours of the flight.

After the plane landed, the flight attendants offered the victims 5,000 free airline miles as an “apology,” but did not alert the local authorities regarding the incident. 

The airline did not directly comment on the pending lawsuit but told Fox Business in a statement that they "have zero tolerance for customers who engage in inappropriate or unlawful behavior."  

"Nothing is more important than the safety of our customers and our people," it added.