American Airlines "Poisoned Food" Caused Passenger's Death, Claims Lawsuit UPDATED

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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.

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12 comments
Hospital Negligence Claims
Hospital Negligence Claims

Situations like medical negligence are very critical situations because in these types of situations you are in confusion like situations that what to decide to get relax from the situations.Its always be better option to discuss with solicitor who will help you to get your claims of compensation on time.

pdquick
pdquick

So if he'd died dry, it would be OK?

mauigirul
mauigirul

This was a poorly written article.  How in the world does someone die sweaty?  That makes no sense.  Also, why did you guess as to what the wife had?  And, you should say that the company apparently served, you should say allegedly. 

Dannythedog
Dannythedog

Hey, the food on AA and other USA airlines, are so disgusting, it is right to sue them.  Why don't they serve food that is at least edible, and maybe they will also have more satisfied customers.

Starspringsf
Starspringsf

wow, A total and complete lack of taking personal responsibility. First off, how on earth would they have figured out that the chicken was 'poisoned' without taking samples of other chicken, not just the chicken that would have been in his system-because without that its quite possible he picked up food poisoning in any number of other places during his trip. Where are all the other people who died-he isn't the only one who ate the chicken or the only older person on the plane. All of his symptoms listed before death are standard symptoms of a heart attack-and its the PATIENT'S job to say "I'm not well" not the stewards or the flight crew. HE got on the plane-no one forced him. They let people fly all the time who are grievously ill because if they didn't they would get their asses handed to them in court. Food poisoning is unlikely to bring on arrest unless the person is already seriously in cardiovascular trouble. They have an adult daughter who is grown enough to file lawsuits on her own, so these are not 'young' people, they are older. Lets see a report from his last physical showing excellent cardiac results for his age and THEN maybe you have a story, but you STILL can't prove he got food poisoning from THAT meal. Anyone who has ever gotten a serious case of food poisoning will tell you it generally takes several hours or overnight before the body kicks into symptoms. Did he eat at the airport? Or on the way? Breakfast that morning? And even though he was obviously ill, they chose to get on a plane and go home, rather than go to the airport medical or a local hospital, even though he was showing classic early cardiac arrest symptoms?

And its the Airline company's fault? Riiiiight. Just goes to show angry grieving people can make bad decisions too. Would love to hear the follow up on this story- and their logic and proof of case...because its sad that this man is dead...but they don't have a case as far as I can see. Too many of their own choices lead to his death, not the airlines.

Quiet please
Quiet please

Come on folks! Seriously I hope the family reads this. I love to hate the airlines as much as the next guy. Worked for a major carier for 15 yrs. HOWEVER! IT IS THE PASSENGER OR HIS FAMILY'S RESPONSIBLITY TO DECIDE THAT HE IS TOO SICK TO FLY! Good grief people GROW UP and take responsibility for yourselves! Are you that stupid and pathetic that you need an airline representative to say " Hey Buddy! You're too sick!"? Come on! Really???Incidently, ALL of his synptoms are lead in symptom of an impending heart attack. Autopsy will most likely show death due to complications of a massive myocardial infarction (the big attack)NOT food poisoning. How many other people ate the chicken and didn't die??????????????

JOEYPAD
JOEYPAD

i guess no one else ate the chicken..what BS..low life laywer trying to make a quick buck

Visigoth55
Visigoth55

Love the lawyers ... if he's denied boarding, they'll sue for discrimination. If he's allowed to board, they'll sue for negligence. Unbelievable. And I guess he's the only one that died of the chicken?

Roy Biv
Roy Biv

I can't speak for the catering service from Barcelona to New York, but I know the SkyChef facilities in Miami very well.   If our delivery person is ill; coughing or sneezing or has oozing open sores.......they will not accept delivery.  The facility is an amazing beehive of activity, every little bee with a hairnet and freshly washed hands.

Funny coincidence, when I traveled Europe, the only place I got sick was Barcelona. Maybe it was something in the water.  The airline was negligent in allowing the passenger to board the flight?  What has our litigious society  wrought?  Who knows better when the passenger is too ill to board the flight, the airline or the passenger?

David
David

LOL I sat and pondered on that too.  I hope I don't die sweaty.  

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