Human Rights

Amputee Files Lawsuit Against American Airlines for Treating Him With 'Brutish Misconduct'

The incident comes on the heels of several reports of the airline's mistreatment of passengers.

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons / Andrew W. Sieber

American Airlines arrested a businessman on a work trip, accusing him of extreme intoxication after he reportedly hobbled down the aisle asking for a drink. However, the man, Michael Mennella, is a double amputee with no feet. He was not intoxicated, and wanted a glass of water in order to take some medication, Miami New Times reports.

“He'd simply hobbled down the aisle to ask for a drink on a flight that departed Miami without the wheelchair the airline had promised him,” New Times reports.

The incident comes on the heels of several reports of American Airlines’ mistreatment of its passengers. Mennella has filed a lawsuit against American Airlines for its flight attendants’ “brutish misconduct.”

Miami New Times reports that according to an email that is part of the lawsuit, the airline’s customer service representative told Mennella that the flight had to be diverted due to his "disruptive and unruly behavior" and lewd language, and that the pilot made the decision "for the safety of all passengers."

Read a detailed article at the New York Times.


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April M. Short is a freelance writer who focuses on health, wellness and social justice. She previously worked as AlterNet's drugs and health editor.