Heavy customer sues Southwest Airlines for discrimination; Passenger claims she was required to buy two tickets

Michelle Keahey Jun. 1, 2012, 5:00am

NEW ORLEANS - Claiming violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, a woman who weighs approximately 240-300 pounds has filed a lawsuit against Southwest Airlines claiming her rights were violated when the airline asked that she purchase two airline tickets.

Kenlie M. Tiggeman filed suit against Southwest Airlines Co. on April 20, 2012 in LaFourche Parish District Court. The defendant removed the case to federal court in New Orleans on May 10.

According to the lawsuit, Tiggeman purchased an airline ticket and attempted to board the defendants' airline on April 24, 2011. She claims the airline employees interrogated her, laughed at her at the gate, requested that she produce evidence of her weight, and provide her clothing size information.

Tiggeman states that the employees told her that she was "too fat to fly."

"The Southwest gate agent further humiliated Plaintiff and requested that she purchase two airline tickets before boarding despite their 'Customer of Size' policy," the lawsuit states.

At the time of the incident, Tiggeman says she weighed approximately 240-300 pounds.

The plaintiff is asking the court to issue an injunction to prevent the defendant from further discriminating against obese passengers and for an award of attorney's fees, losses, and court costs.

Tiggeman is acting as her own attorney. A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Susie Morgan is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:12-cv-01177

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