A woman who claimed she was sexually assaulted on an American Airlines flight is suing the company for not helping her and serving her alleged abuser alcoholic drinks.
According to the Dallas Morning News, the lawsuit was filed Wednesday by Colorado real estate worker Aubrey Lane, 31, who in March told the same publication that during a June 2017 flight from Phoenix to New York she was harassed and sexually assaulted by a seemingly intoxicated man.
The lawsuit, filed in New York federal court read, “Knowing the clear dangers of intoxication and the sexual assault threats, especially on red-eye flights, American offered no protection to Aubrey Lane … despite the verbal warnings of Passenger 12C and the obvious obnoxious, aggressive, threatening and intoxicated behavior of Passenger 12B.”
“My first thought was this guy’s drunk. He was super-chatty,” Lane told the Dallas Morning News in March. “I’ve flown a lot. I’m used to people saying hello. This is the most anyone has sat down and started talking to me.”
In the court papers, a passenger and eyewitness reported: “…I started hearing him say how pretty she was, how lucky her husband was to have such a ‘bangin’ wife’ and how ‘what happens on vacation stays on vacation.’ As I heard her refute each claim and attempt to redirect his comments to another topic, I took out my headphones. While Aubrey had been drinking, she clearly was not interested in pursuing this man in 12B, but over time he began to move closer to her, grab her face and kiss her, which she would push him off and say that ‘couldn’t happen.’ He then began to tell her he was in love with her, to which she retorted, ‘That’s impossible! You can’t fall in love with someone in one night!’ Which followed a shouting match of ‘Yes you f***ing can!’ ‘No F***ing way!’ etc. This drew a lot of attention, but when I alerted the flight attendant as he walked by, he shrugged and said, ‘Well they are drinking…’ and walked away.”
Lane claims the man was served six alcoholic drinks, including vodka and beer, and later, he followed her into the bathroom and committed a sexual assault. Lane says that after she told the crew what had happened, she was moved to a different seat.
According to Newsweek, when the plane landed, airport police met only with Lane and offered her $5,000 for a “nuisance claim,” then later apologized for doing so.
American Airlines sent this statement to Yahoo Lifestyle: “We will thoroughly review Ms. Lane’s lawsuit once we receive it. We want all of our customers to have a safe, positive travel experience with us and we are deeply troubled by any allegation of misconduct onboard our aircraft or at any of our facilities. If our crews discover or are told about any alleged illegal misconduct that may occur on the aircraft, law enforcement is contacted and will meet the aircraft upon arrival. In all cases of misconduct between two passengers, we will immediately separate them and request law enforcement meet the aircraft, which is our standard protocol. It is up to law enforcement to determine what, if any criminal activity, took place.”
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