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Passenger sues Southwest Airlines for $800,000 over spilled tea

By Yukio Strachan     Sep 27, 2012 in Lifestyle
Smyrna - A Tennessee woman sued Southwest Airlines and a flight attendant on Tuesday for $800,000 after serving her tea she says was way too hot.
It all happened on December 28, 2011. According to the suit, Angelica Keller was seated in the window seat of the front row on Flight 955 between Nashville and Houston with a stop in New Orleans, when she decided to order hot tea.
The suit says the flight attendant obliged and brought her a cup of "extremely hot water" sitting in another cup which contained the tea bag and condiment packets, CNN reported.
But this was exactly the problem.
In the "plaintiffs efforts to extricate the tea bag from its position of being wedged between the tilted paper 'hot cup' of extremely hot water and the shorter clear plastic soft drink cup, the extremely hot water spilled into her lap at her groin area," the suit said, according to CNN.
She had her seat belt on, so the hot water spread around the seat before she could unbuckle and stand up, The City Paper reports..
As a result, Keller's body suffered second degree burns and her skin blistered, peeled and she was permanently scarred, although she was fully clothed the lawyers said.
"Our Customers' comfort is our top priority at all times, and we safely serve about 100 million drinks onboard every year," Southwest spokesman Chris Mainz told CNN in a statement. "The referenced event is unfortunate, and we are currently reviewing it. We can't provide additional details due to the pending lawsuit that was filed."
Southwest does not have tray tables in the front rows of its aircraft and failed “to warn [her]... of any potential danger involved in the delivery of hot tea during a flight” in a bulkhead seat, Keller's suit said which contributed to the accident.
The lawsuit also said the airline served the drink in an unreasonable manner and used "hot water at a temperature too hot for use in an aircraft" which can be "subject to turbulence."
Mainz was unable to provide the standard temperature of the water on Southwest flights, but said it has never been an issue in the past.
The suit, filed Tuesday in Davidson County Circuit Court, seeks $300,000 for property damages, medical bills, injuries and pain and suffering as well as $500,000 in punitive damages, the Nashville Business Journal said.
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