| 12.5°C Dublin

Passenger claims Aer Lingus staff pulled her from toilet with pants still down as flight about to take off

Close

Stock: PA

Stock: PA

Stock: PA

An Aer Lingus passenger has filed a lawsuit claiming she was injured after attendants pulled her out of an aeroplane toilet as her flight was about to take off.

American national Mary Oshana alleges she was dragged back to her seat while her pants were still below her knees, exposing her buttocks and genitalia to other passengers.

She also alleges her hip was injured during the incident and that she was the subject of laughter from other passengers.

The bizarre case was filed with a US court last week.

Ms Oshana, from Skokie, Illinois, is seeking a jury trial for damages, claiming airline staff "acted unreasonably, carelessly, and negligently".

Aer Lingus has declined to comment on her claims.

In a complaint filed with the District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, her lawyers said the incident occurred shortly before a flight from Chicago to Dublin took off on April 26, 2018.

According to the filing, Ms Oshana's flight taxied from the departure gate at O'Hare International Airport and remained stopped on the tarmac for around 30 minutes before it taxied on towards the runway for take-off.

While it was stopped on the tarmac she left her seat to go to the toilet.

According to the complaint, about 20 seconds after entering the toilet she heard one or more persons banging on the door, telling her she needed to return to her seat.

By this stage she was seated on the toilet with her pants down.

The filing said she told those on the other side of the door she would go back to her seat "in just a minute".

But it is alleged that approximately 20 seconds later two Aer Lingus flight attendants "broke through the lavatory door, grabbed the plaintiff under her arms, dragged her to her seat while her pants were below her knees, and threw her with great force into the arm rest and seat".

The complaint alleged that her buttocks and genitalia were exposed to other passengers on the flight.

"In the process of being thrown with great force into the arm rest and seat, the plaintiff, Mary Oshana, suffered pain and bruising in her hip, thighs and buttocks," it said.

It went on to claim she saw and heard male passengers seated behind her laughing and pointing at her.

Her lawyers claim the incident falls within the terms of the Montreal Convention, a treaty covering damages for victims of incidents on airlines.

Asked about the lawsuit, an Aer Lingus spokeswoman said: "We have no comment on this."

The court has scheduled a status hearing in early June.

The case is one of a number of personal injuries claims the national flag carrier has faced from US passengers in recent years.

These included a lawsuit in New York, taken on behalf of a four-year-old boy who was scalded with hot water on a transatlantic flight, which was settled for $700,000 (€648,000).

In the complaint filed in that matter, it was alleged the boy suffered second-degree burns to his right inner thigh during a flight in June 2014.

A similar case involving a girl in Florida was also settled in 2016.

In another case, a claim for $1m (€926,000) - after an engagement ring and other valuables were allegedly stolen from luggage - was dismissed by a court in New York.

Irish Independent