Marlin Jackson of Atlanta, Ga., was sitting in the window seat of a flight from Atlanta to San Diego, Calif., in June 2017 when the dog sitting on the lap of his neighbor, Ronald Mundy, pinned Jackson against the window and bit his face. According to the lawsuit filed in Fulton County, Ga., and obtained by Yahoo Lifestyle, Mundy briefly pulled the dog away. However, the animal broke free from the owner’s grip and mauled Jackson’s face.
“The attacks caused extensive facial damage including deep lacerations and punctures to the nose and mouth,” the lawsuit reads. “In fact, Mr. Jackson bled so profusely that the entire row of seats had to be removed from the airplane.”
The lawsuit details the resulting injuries Jackson suffered, which includes a total of 28 stitches to his face and upper body, as well as the loss of sensation to the affected areas of his face.
Mundy, a military service member with the U.S. Marine Corps, said “the dog was issued to him for support,” according to a police report obtained by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Now, Jackson and his attorneys, J. Ross Massey and Graham P. Roberts, are demanding that both Mundy and Delta take responsibility for the attack, arguing the dog hadn’t been verified to meet training requirements to be allowed on board the flight.
“Delta failed to require a kennel for the large animal and/or failed to verify that the large animal, allegedly an ESA, was trained and met the same requirements as a service animal,” the lawsuit states. “Prior to subjecting the large animal to the foreseeably dangerous confines of a crowded airplane, Defendant Mundy failed to act reasonably, consistent with the standard of ordinary care, to prevent harm to his fellow passengers, including Mr. Jackson.”
A spokesperson for Delta Air Lines tells Yahoo Lifestyle that the company doesn’t comment on pending litigation, but provided the following statement regarding service and support animal policies:
“Delta continuously reviews and enhances its policies and procedures for animals onboard as part of its commitment to health, safety and protecting the rights of customers with disabilities. In 2018, Delta tightened its policies on emotional support animals by requiring a ‘confirmation of animal training’ form as well as other official documentation. The airline also banned pit bulls and animals under four months of age as service or support animals. These policy updates reinforce Delta’s core value of putting safety first, always.”
Yahoo Lifestyle was unable to locate Mundy for comment.
Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle: