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Passenger died after eating in-flight meal, family sues airline

By Leigh Goessl     Dec 2, 2011 in Travel
Miami - The family of a man who died after eating an in-flight meal has initiated a lawsuit saying the food was contaminated with bacteria which resulted in the death of their loved one and that the airline was negligent in how the situation was handled.
The man died in May after reportedly eating a meal served, which purportedly included chicken, on a flight from Barcelona, Spain to New York. CNN reported Othon Cortes, from Miami, died after eating a meal that was allegedly contaminated with Clostridium perfringens bacteria.
According to CNN, the lawsuit has American Airlines and LSG Sky Chefs, a German company that produces airline meals for hundreds of airlines, listed as defendants.
The lawsuit was filed in Miami, Fla., and alleges the two are responsible for the death of Cortes.
CNN reported the $1 million lawsuit states "after the plane landed at John F. Kennedy International Airport and as Cortes and his wife waited for their next flight to Miami, Cortes felt "discomfort and pain that included sharp stomach cramps and sudden thirst and other clear outward manifestation of severe physical illness." The lawsuit also alleges there was a failure to "properly maintain or prepare the food."
While the man felt ill upon arriving in New York, the Miami Times reported, American Airlines personnel allowed him on the flight to Florida. The suit says "AA was negligent in allowing Othon to board the domestic flight, failing to provide medical attention and waiting too long to (opt for) an emergency landing."
The wife and daughter of the deceased man said during the second leg of their flight home, their loved one experienced nausea and shortness of breath; the plane made an emergency landing in Norfolk, Va., after Cortes became unresponsive after experiencing a cardiac arrest. He was pronounced dead upon arrival, CNN said.
American Airlines is currently offering no comment because this is an active lawsuit, said Tim Smith, a spokesman for the carrier.
However, LSG Sky Chefs is moving for dismissal.
Company spokeswoman Josefine Corsten said, "Based upon the allegations in the complaint it is not possible that Sky Chefs is the responsible party because we did not cater the Barcelona flight in question."
This week Digital Journal reported the parent company of American Airlines, AMR Corporation, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
More about American airlines, LSG Sky Chefs, negligence lawsuit, Clostridium perfringens bacteria
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