Family of woman who died after flight sues American Airlines


April 27 (Reuters) - The family of a South Carolina woman has filed a wrongful death lawsuit accusing American Airlines of refusing to make an emergency landing after she fell ill during an April 2016 flight, leading to her death from an embolism three days later.

Brittany Oswell's parents and widower filed their April 18 lawsuit in a federal court in South Carolina, where the 25-year-old nurse and her husband Cory lived. They had been flying home from Hawaii, where her husband was stationed in the military.

The lawsuit follows the April 17 death of a Southwest Airlines passenger after an in-flight engine explosion, the first passenger death on a U.S. commercial airline since 2009.

More on the Southwest: 

25 PHOTOS
Southwest plane makes emergency landing in Philly after engine incident
See Gallery
Southwest plane makes emergency landing in Philly after engine incident

A Southwest Airlines flight heading from New York's LaGuardia Airport to Dallas was forced to make an emergency landing at Philadelphia International Airport on Tuesday after experiencing engine issues.

Photo: Facebook/Marty Martinez

Marty Martinez, a passenger on Flight 1380, took to social media after the incident to share photos of the severe damage sustained by the aircraft, which included a damaged left engine and one blown-out window. 

Photo: Facebook/Marty Martinez

A photo of the plane's damaged engine.

Photo: Facebook/Marty Martinez

Photo: Facebook/Marty Martinez
Photo: Facebook/Marty Martinez
Photo: Facebook/Marty Martinez
Photo: Facebook/Marty Martinez
Photo: Facebook/Marty Martinez
Photo: Facebook/Marty Martinez
Photo: Facebook/Marty Martinez
Photo: Facebook/Marty Martinez
Emergency personnel monitor the damaged engine of Southwest Airlines Flight 1380, which diverted to the Philadelphia International Airport this morning after the airline crew reported damage to one of the aircraft's engines, on a runway in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania U.S. April 17, 2018. REUTERS/Mark Makela
Emergency personnel monitor the damaged engine of Southwest Airlines Flight 1380, which diverted to the Philadelphia International Airport this morning after the airline crew reported damage to one of the aircraft's engines, on a runway in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania U.S. April 17, 2018. REUTERS/Mark Makela
Emergency personnel monitor the damaged engine of Southwest Airlines Flight 1380, which diverted to the Philadelphia International Airport this morning after the airline crew reported damage to one of the aircraft's engines, on a runway in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania U.S. April 17, 2018. REUTERS/Mark Makela
Emergency personnel monitor the damaged engine of Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 which diverted to the Philadelphia International Airport this morning after the airline crew reported damage to one of the aircraft's engines, on a runway in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania U.S. April 17, 2018. REUTERS/Mark Makela
Emergency personnel monitor the damaged engine of Southwest Airlines Flight 1380, which diverted to the Philadelphia International Airport this morning after the airline crew reported damage to one of the aircraft's engines, on a runway in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania U.S. April 17, 2018. REUTERS/Mark Makela TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
A U.S. NTSB investigator is on scene examining damage to the engine of the Southwest Airlines plane in this image released from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., April 17, 2018. NTSB/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY.
U.S. NTSB investigators are on scene examining damage to the engine of the Southwest Airlines plane in this image released from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., April 17, 2018. NTSB/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY.
U.S. NTSB investigators are on scene examining damage to the engine of the Southwest Airlines plane in this image released from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., April 17, 2018. NTSB/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY.
U.S. NTSB investigators are on scene examining damage to the engine of the Southwest Airlines plane in this image released from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., April 17, 2018. NTSB/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
U.S. NTSB photo shows parts of the engine cowling from the Southwest Airlines plane which blew its engine in mid air yesterday over the skies of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., in this image released on April 18, 2018. NTSB/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY.
U.S. NTSB photo shows a part of the engine cowling from the Southwest Airlines plane which blew its engine in mid air yesterday over the skies of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., in this image released on April 18, 2018. NTSB/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY.
@SouthwestAir These are the hero’s of SWA 1380 NYC to Dallas We lost an engine mid-flight and they guided back to P… https://t.co/0fsymQo9lU
@SouthwestAir I want to thank the crew of SWA 1380 for a great job getting us to the ground safely after losing in… https://t.co/C03wL1SYtJ
U.S. Navy Lieutenant Tammie Jo Shults, who is currently a Southwest Airlines pilot, poses in front of a Navy F/A-18A in this 1992 photo released in Washington, DC, U.S., April 18, 2018. Thomas P. Milne/U.S. Navy/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

According to the complaint, Oswell's flight was on its way to Dallas-Fort Worth from Honolulu when she became dizzy and disoriented before fainting. She regained consciousness after being looked at by a doctor, and later collapsed in a bathroom.

SEE ALSO: Southwest victim's husband says he hasn't 'been angry yet,' plans to thank passengers

Her family said the doctor recommended that the plane land at a nearby airport in Albuquerque, New Mexico, but the pilot flew on to Dallas after consulting with another doctor.

Oswell's breathing and pulse eventually stopped, and flight attendants tried to administer CPR after an onboard defibrillator failed to work, the complaint said.

She never regained consciousness, and was eventually taken off life support, it added.

"We were deeply saddened by this event and our thoughts and prayers continue to go out to Mrs. Oswell's loved ones," American said in a statement. "We take the safety of our passengers very seriously and we are looking into the details of the complaint."

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages, including for American's alleged gross negligence. A lawyer for Oswell's family did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The case is Starks et al v American Airlines Inc, U.S. District Court, District of South Carolina, No. 18-01062. (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Dan Grebler)

Read Full Story