In July, a Los Angeles-based fashion brand founder, Delany Eva Luh, claimed that the flight crew on a Delta Air Lines flight failed to properly assist her when she was sexually assaulted by an intoxicated man sitting beside her on her flight.
At the time, she tweeted that during a June 16 flight from Chicago to Los Angeles, she was seated between two men she did not know. Luh alleges that she fell asleep and woke up to an intoxicated seatmate putting his hands down her leggings.
On June 16th I was sexually assaulted on a @delta flight home from Chicago to LA. I was in the middle seat side by side by two men I did not know. I ended up falling asleep and woke up to a drunk man with his hands down my leggings. pic.twitter.com/9iS75rcdwI
— DelanyLuh (@DelanyLuh) July 20, 2018
Now, the 23-year-old woman is suing Delta for continuing to serve the drunk passenger alcohol and then, after he allegedly sexually assaulted her, offering her a $200 voucher as compensation.
James Friauf, a Knoxville attorney, has filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court on behalf of Luh against Delta over the incident, which the designer documented on Twitter, according to Knox News in Knoxville, Tenn.
According to the lawsuit, one of her seatmates fell asleep; the other seatmate, located in an aisle seat, tried to “engage her in small talk” about his work and “marital problems.” Luh alleges that the man’s eyes were watery and bloodshot, and “the smell of alcohol was noticeably strong on his breath.” She was made more uncomfortable by the man leaning in close to her to speak.
The lawsuit claims that despite the man’s “obviously-inebriated state,” Delta employees continued to serve him “as many as six to eight alcoholic beverages” within two hours.
Luh claims she gave a flight attendant a “concerned look” as the employee served the man more alcohol. The lawsuit says she “did so in an attempt to make the flight attendant aware of her discomfort without making obvious to Assailant that [Luh] was raising concern about his intoxication level. [Luh] worried Assailant would become agitated with her if he realized she had complained about him. The flight attendant ignored [Luh],” the lawsuit reads.
The lawsuit goes on to allege that the man pretended to make a phone call to a person named “Molly,” saying that he hoped to meet “cool girls who were unlike this one next to [me].”
Luh told the man to “back off” and said he was in “her bubble.” The lawsuit then states that she leaned as far as possible to her left, toward the window-seat passenger, who was sleeping with headphones on, and she eventually fell asleep.
While she was sleeping, Luh alleges, she was “startled awake” by a discomfort in her vaginal area. Attorney Friauf wrote that it was due to the assailant “digitally penetrating” her. Luh attempted to move from her middle seat, but the assailant refused to let her by, according to the lawsuit. His tray table was down and reportedly held a vodka and cranberry cocktail, along with other small bottles of vodka served by Delta, which she knocked over when she maneuvered over the assailant. The lawsuit says that the assailant pointed to his erect penis in his pants when she did so.
Luh changed seats for the rest of the flight, but Delta did not notify law enforcement once the plane had landed, so Luh notified authorities on her own. The assailant was allowed to exit the aircraft. According to Luh, Delta gave her a $200 voucher for future travel with the airline when she complained about their handling of the situation.
According to Delta, Luh complained after she disembarked from the flight and told “a Delta agent that she had been improperly touched on the leg by another passenger during her flight. Immediately upon learning this information, Delta reported the incident to local and federal law enforcement for their handling.”
Luh is seeking $1 million in compensatory damages and another $5 million in punitive damages.
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