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Man Sues 7 Airlines Claiming Face Mask Rules Are Discriminatory, Causes Him Anxiety

Man Sues 7 Airlines Claiming Face Mask Rules Are Discriminatory, Causes Him Anxiety

A man has filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court alleging the way in which seven airlines, including Delta Air Lines, Alaska and Southwest, have interpreted a federal face mask mandate discriminates against passengers with medical conditions that prevent them from wearing a mask and is in violation of the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) which guarantees disabled passengers certain rights.

Lucas Wall of Washington D.C. has already filed a separate lawsuit against the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) over the mask mandate which is set to remain in force until September 13 at the earliest. Now, Wall is taking his fight to the airlines that are enforcing the mandate.

In a press release after the 94-page complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for Orlando, Wall claimed airlines had either refused to provide medical exemptions or made the process so onerous as to make it impossible for passengers with medical conditions to travel.

“The evidence is indisputable that all seven defendants for the past year or so during the COVID-19 pandemic have illegally discriminated against potentially millions of flyers with disabilities,” Wall said. Along with Delta, Alaska and Southwest, the lawsuit has also been brought against Allegiant, Frontier, jetBlue and Spirit Airlines.

“By refusing to grant any mask exemptions and/or requiring such an onerous exemption process that travelers such as myself with a medical condition that makes it impossible for them to cover their face are essentially banned from using the nation’s commercial aviation system,” he continued.

Wall says he suffers from Generalized Anxiety Disorder which leads to breathing difficulties whenever he puts on a face mask.

“When I try to put on a mask it just triggers a breathing difficulty with me,” Wall explained in a recent interview. “I start feeling a panic attack.”

The lawsuit claims: “The airlines have acted without statutory or regulatory authority to demand that every passenger – even those with disabilities as well as those who are fully vaccinated and/or with natural immunity – obstruct their breathing by wearing a mask that covers their nose and mouth.”

Wall is demanding $35,188 in damages per alleged violation of ACAA with a total demand of $351,880. This covers eight booked flights from June 2 to July 10.

He submitted a mask exemption request to Southwest ahead of his June 2 flight from Orlando to Fort Lauderdale but rather than providing evidence of his medical condition, Wall told Southwest that he believed Southwest’s rules were in violation of the ACAA. Southwest turned down his application.

Throughout the complaint, Wall repeatedly attests that he is fully vaccinated. In one interaction with TSA officers ahead of his attempted June 2 flight, Wall refused to wear a face mask: “No, I will not wear a mask that’s why I have my vaccination card,” he told the officers.

The TSA refused him access to the gate because he had not obtained a mask exemption from Southwest.

“While we regret any Customer inconvenience, federal law requires each person, 2 years of age and older, to wear a mask at all times throughout the travel journey,” Southwest explained in a statement.

“To support travelers with disabilities, there is a narrow exception to the mask mandate for specific types of disabilities that prevent a person from wearing a mask,” the statement continued. “Southwest Airlines considers applications for exemptions from this mask requirement from passengers with a disability who cannot wear a mask or who cannot safely wear a mask because of the disability

Delta did not have a specific comment about this complaint but said in a statement: “The actions Delta began taking in 2020 to protect our people and customers during the pandemic are part of our long-standing commitment to a high standard of care as nothing is more important at Delta than safety.”

On Monday, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) revealed it had received over 3,000 unruly passenger reports since January – over 76 per cent of those complaints concerned passengers who refused to abide by the federal face mask mandate.


Photo Credit: Yau Ming Low / Shutterstock.com

View Comments (7)
  • Awesome. Hope he wins. It’s time to end all this mask nonsense. Guarantee the in-flight rage incidents will drop too when you take the muzzles off the dogs.

  • LOL. My wife says that airlines not allowing her to smoke causes her anxiety so maybe she should sue as well. A little secondhand smoke is certainly less harmful than giving a bunch of fellow flyers Covid. Snowflake dude needs to take his meds rather than suing. These crazy right winger types always want to sue.

  • funny, the man thinks he has a right to fly, wrong, he is suing because he can settle out of court, this is how he make an income, he should be ban from flying, flying is not a right, so good luck at winning anything. if i was the judge i would slap the man and fined him for wasting everyones time.

    • You clearly no nothing about the Americans With Disabilities Act. Forcing certain people to fly who have health conditions where wearing masks increases their risk of having an episode is against the ADA.

      A person can fly with an emotional support dog, a seeing eye dog, but people with mask-related disabilities are forced to jeopardize their health.

  • Does he know how to drive a car? I think you can rent one and drive it with no mask or clothes for that matter. Not sure how it’s the airlines fault he is “stranded” in The Villages.

  • 1 man’s anxiety vs 100 passengers’ lives. Yes, the whole world revolves around you. You are the most important person. No one else matter. Everyone should get on their knees and bow to you because you have an anxiety.

  • This jackass is doing this out of sport, not because he has disability. Far from it. Watch his YouTube videos and see for yourself. The YouTube user name is lewnwdc.

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