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Woman Claims She Went Into Cardiac Arrest On An American Airlines Flight After Being Left For ‘Hours Upon Hours’ in a Wheelchair During Prolonged Delay

Woman Claims She Went Into Cardiac Arrest On An American Airlines Flight After Being Left For ‘Hours Upon Hours’ in a Wheelchair During Prolonged Delay

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An elderly American Airlines passenger claims she went into cardiac arrest on a flight to Chicago after she was left for ‘hours upon hours’ in a wheelchair during a prolonged delay which left her in the hospital for days racking up a huge medical bill and leaving her with lasting heart problems.

71-year-old Pamela Harrison is now suing American Airlines for negligence and breach of contract after she says she was “jammed into a seat on an airplane” causing her to go into ventricular fibrillation when she tried to rise from her seat.

Pamela was flying from Nashville International Airport to Chicago O’Hare on May 7, 2023, and had booked and paid for disability assistance due to walking issues. Pamela normally uses a walker to help her move independently but was made to check in into the aircraft meaning she was reliant on a wheelchair assistant.

American Airlines had emailed passengers ahead of the flight to tell them that departure was meant to go ahead as scheduled, but when Pamela was all checked in and already through security, she discovered that the flight had been delayed.

At this point, Pamela says she was simply abandoned in a wheelchair at the gate. As the delay stretched on, Pamela claims she tried to ask for help but was denied assistance as the departure stretched from 5 pm into the late evening hours.

Without her walker, Pamela was unable to get up to get food or drink, or to use the restroom.

The flight did eventually depart on the same day but Pamela claims she was ‘jammed’ into a seat that didn’t accommodate her condition, preventing her from stretching her legs.

It’s this prolonged period of non-movement that Pamela says led her to suffering a cardiac arrest when the plane landed in Chicago and she attempted to rise from her seat.

Paramedics rushed to the plane and shocked Pamela’s heart before she was rushed to Amita Health Resurrection Health Center where she was treated for a heart attack.

Although American Airlines contracts out wheelchair assistance services at Nashville Airport, the lawsuit argues that AA is vicariously liable for the actions of its contractor.

“Due to the Defendants’ negligence and /or breach of contract, Plaintiff has suffered extraordinary, devastating, and permanent damages,” reads the lawsuit, which was filed in a Tennessee district court earlier this month.

Pamela is suing American Airlines for $5 million in damages.

American Airlines has not yet responded to the suit.

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