Woman sues American Airlines after boarding fall at New Orleans airport

Michelle Keahey Jun. 19, 2012, 11:13am


NEW ORLEANS - A woman has filed a lawsuit against American Airlines claiming that she fell while trying to board a plane due to lack of assistance, including a lack of wheelchair access.

Francine Hirsch of Illinois filed suit against American Airlines Inc. and ABC Insurance Co. on June 1 in federal court in New Orleans.

The alleged incident occurred on June 2, 2011 as Hirsch was attempting to travel from New Orleans to Chicago. Prior to purchasing her ticket, Hirsch states that she expressly advised American Airlines that she had a disability and required assistance to board the flight, including wheelchair access to the plane.

The defendant is accused of negligence for failing to provide a wheelchair or any assistance to Hirsch through the jet bridge, for directing Hirsch to board the plane without first ascertaining whether wheelchair or other appropriate assistance was available at the gate, for failing to assist Hirsch in boarding the plane despite knowledge of her disability, for failing to adequately train or supervise gate or wheelchair personnel, and for leaving Hirsch unattended at the gate without a wheelchair.

The plaintiff is asking the court for an award of damages for physical and mental injuries, pain and suffering, medical expenses, wage loss and loss of earning capacity and court costs.

Hirsch is represented by Alton J. Hall and Bobby J. Delise in Covington. A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Jane Triche Milazzo is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:12-cv-01417

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