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jetBlue is Being Sued by Two Flight Attendants Who Say Pilots Drugged and Raped Them

jetBlue is Being Sued by Two Flight Attendants Who Say Pilots Drugged and Raped Them

JT Occhialini via Flickr

Two flight attendants who work for jetBlue have filed a lawsuit against the airline for sex and gender discrimination after the pair reported an allegation of rape to bosses.  The case was filed in the United States District Court, Eastern District of New York earlier this week by lawyers representing the flight attendants who are only known as Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2.

Also named in the lawsuit are two jetBlue pilots – Eric Johnson and Dan Watson – who the flight attendants allege drugged and raped them during a layover in Puerto Rico.  The two flight attendants are seeking at least $75,000 each in compensation.

The incident occurred in May 2018 when the two flight attendants worked a flight to San Juan, Puerto Rico.  They took to a beach near their crew hotel to drink and relax when they met Johnson and Watson who had worked a separate flight to the island.  The two pilots allegedly gave the flight attendants beer that had been laced with some sort of date rape drug.

Jane Doe 1 says the next few hours are a hazy blur but she woke to find herself in bed with Johnson physically raping her.  The flight attendant claims she could not resist because she had drugged and had to submit herself to what was happening.  Afterwards, Johnson is alleged to have told her “thank you for making my fantasy come true”.

A second unnamed flight attendant who is not involved in the lawsuit was also allegedly raped by either Johnson or Watson but Jane Doe 2 says she was spared such an ordeal because she vomited several times from the drugs she had ingested.

All three flight attendants managed to work the flight home but were physically sick and suffering the same symptoms.  Both Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2 say they told jetBlue about what had happened but despite the airline saying they had opened an investigation no corrective action was taken.

Jane Doe 1 later found out that she had been infected human papillomavirus (HPV) – She claims this could only have come from Johnson.

As well as sex and genders discrimination, jetBlue is also accused of creating a hostile work environment because they failed to take action against the alleged perpetrators.

The two flight attendants say they have suffered severe emotional and physical distress and are seeking damages for loss of income, the loss of salary, bonuses, benefits and other compensation.

“The allegations in the complaint are obviously very serious and what happened to these women is horrific, but the bigger concern is how JetBlue handled it and the fact that no corrective action was taken,” explained their lawyer, Abe Melamed.

“One of the plaintiffs has continued to bump into one of the pilots and has an immediate visceral reaction and goes to the bathroom and vomits every time it happens,” he was quoted as saying.

In a statement, jetBlue said that it “takes allegations of violent or inappropriate behavior very seriously and investigates such claims thoroughly.  We work to create a respectful workplace for all our crew members where they feel welcome and safe.”

The case has been ongoing since last year and a trial date has not yet been set.  The two flight attendants have asked for a trial by jury.

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