A Southwest Airlines flight attendant is suing her employer for the alleged wrongful-death of her husband, who suffered a fatal blood clot while flying on the airlines.
According to the lawsuit, financial analyst Richard Ilczyszyn suffered a pulmonary embolism during a flight in September 2014. Flight attendants allegedly heard the 46-year-old man groaning and crying in the aircraft's bathrooms.
"One flight attendant said she opened the door and she saw the top of my husband's head and his head was down and he was just whimpering, and [she] left him there," Ilczyszyn's widow Kelly Ilczyszyn claimed.
However, the airline disputes Ilczyszyn's claim and states that staff called the authorities before landing in Orange County, California.
"We offer our continued sympathy and condolences. It appears to have been an unfortunate medical event that we believe our flight attendants handled appropriately," a statement from Southwest Airlines read.
Southwest disputes the claim
Despite the airline's claim, CBS News reported that staff allegedly called the Orange County Sheriff's Department describing an unruly passenger, not someone in need of medical attention. "Apparently there's a passenger in... locked himself in the lav and is screaming and yelling," the staff member allegedly said in the recording.
According to CBS, Sheriff's deputies cleared the flight once it landed before checking up on the man. Ilczyszyn never regained consciousness and was pronounced dead at the hospital.
"The paramedics should have met the aircraft. Absolutely. Absolutely. And he would be here today," Kelly said. The widow's lawyer Andrew Speilberger added: "Our experts say these flight attendants and the crew, the captain, did not act reasonably based on the information that was before them".
Southwest told CBS that crew members were unable to open the bathroom door and could not fully assess his condition.
"Somebody that's head is down and there's no communication is somebody that's in distress, that needs help. That doesn't need a police officer," Kelly argued. "They need paramedics."