COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The family of a South Carolina woman has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against American Airlines, accusing the company of negligence in her death following a medical emergency during a flight two years ago.
In a lawsuit filed earlier this month, relatives of Brittany Oswell say the 25-year-old nurse suffered an embolism while on an American flight from Honolulu to Dallas. According to the suit, filed in federal court in South Carolina, Oswell became “dizzy and disoriented” before fainting on the April 2016 flight.
A doctor onboard checked Oswell out, and she regained consciousness. But several hours later, according to the lawsuit, she went to the bathroom, where she was found, having vomited and defecated on herself.
At that point, the flight was near Albuquerque, New Mexico, about two hours from landing in Dallas, the suit says. According to the lawsuit, the doctor who had previously checked Oswell out told crew members that they needed to divert to the nearest airport so that she could get medical care, but the flight stayed on its path.
Oswell’s breathing and pulse stopped. The doctor tried to administer aid to her, but an onboard defibrillator and blood pressure cuffs didn’t work, the suit says. Crew members performed CPR until the flight landed in Dallas, and Oswell was taken to a hospital.
“Brittany never regained consciousness on the flight or thereafter,” according to the lawsuit, which accuses the airline of negligence for failing to divert and having faulty medical equipment. Oswell remained on life support at a Dallas hospital for three days, and doctors determined she had suffered cardiac arrest, pulmonary embolism and respiratory failure.
The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages from American Airlines. In a statement, the company told The Associated Press that American feels sympathy for Oswell’s family and is looking into details of the case.
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