A U.S. man is suing Air France and Delta Air Lines claiming a flight attendant tripped him up in the aisle resulting in him being so badly injured that he had to be wheeled off the plane at the end of the flight in a wheelchair. The victim says he suffered “great pain and discomfort, disfigurement, embarrassment and mental anguish”.
Usman Jalloh of College Park, Maryland filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on Friday claiming substantial damages for the injuries he received on the February 26, 2020 flight from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport to Washington Dulles International Airport.
Although Jalloh was tripped up by an Air France flight attendant on an Air France plane, Delta Air Lines has also been named as a defendant in the case because Jalloh was flying on a Delta codeshare ticket which makes the Atlanta-based airline jointly responsible under the Montreal Convention.
The lawsuit says Jalloh got out of his seat several hours into the flight in order to use the lavatory which was at the back of the cabin. In order to get to the lavatory, he had to pass through the galley where a group of Air France flight attendants were congregating.
Jalloh says he had to move in close proximity to the flight attendants to get to the lavatory but as he passed behind one of the crew members, he “suddenly and without warning extended his leg” into Jalloh’s path.
He tripped and fell face first onto the aircraft floor. Ice packs had to be applied to his injuries for the rest of the flight and he was removed from the aircraft by a wheelchair on arrival into Washington.
The lawsuit claims Jalloh has suffered permanent injuries that continue to cause him pain and discomfort.
Under Article 17 of the Montreal Convention, airlines are strictly liable for injuries sustained by passengers onboard their aircraft unless they can prove the injury was caused by the passenger’s own negligence.
In a seperate lawsuit filed on Friday, Melba Harris of West Bloomfield, Michigan is using the Montreal Convention to sue Delta following a February 9, 2020 flight from Tokyo to Detroit in which she claims she sustained second-degree burns when a flight attendant spilt hot coffee on her leg.
Harris says Delta served her coffee at a “temperture not fit for human consumption” and then spilt that coffee on her lap. She has been permanently disfigured with scarring on her upper left thigh.
Passengers have successfully sued airlines on numerous occasions for injuries caused by hot beverage spills. Delta Air Lines has been contacted for comment.
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Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.