American Airlines "Poisoned Food" Caused Passenger's Death, Claims Lawsuit UPDATED
It's been a rough week for American Airlines. Not only did the company file for bankruptcy protection, but a widow is claiming her husband died sweaty after eating the airplane chicken.
According to the suit, Miamian Othon Cortes and his wife Raquel were on a flight from Barcelona to New York's JFK Airport-- the first leg on their trip home-- when they were served a meal. Though it may seem like it these days, that is not the shocking part of the story.
Othon ordered the chicken meal, while Raquel ate an in-flight meal (fish, we're guessing) that didn't have chicken. In the JFK airport, Othon became pale, experienced "sharp stomach cramps" and was suddenly very thirsty.
Raquel says that as they boarded the flight to Miami, her husband's illness was "expressed and obvious" to AA staff, but they were allowed on the plane anyway. He went downhill on the plane to Miami, suffering from nauseousness and shortness of breath and, eventually, a heart attack.
The plane made an emergency landing in Norfolk, Virginia, where Othon was pronounced dead.
On the day before Thanksgiving in Miami court, Raquel and Othon's daughter, Sandra Cortes, filed suit against American Airlines and Sky Chefs, the airplane catering company that apparently served the fateful meal.
(Update: LSG Sky Chefs spokesperson David Margulies emailed us to say: "Our company did not cater the flight in question and will file a motion to have its name removed from the defendants in the case.")
They claim that the chicken was "poisoned" with the bacteria C. perfringens-- and that AA was negligent in allowing Othon to board the domestic flight, failing to provide medical attention, and waiting too long to pull an emergency landing.
American Airlines did not respond to Riptide's requests for comment.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Miami, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.