The wife and daughter of Othon Cortes of Miami have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against American Airlines and Sky Chefs, an airline catering company, alleging that food contamination of a chicken meal that Cortes consumed on a Barcelona to New York flight on May 18 caused him to become ill and led to his fatal heart attack.
The family is asking for $1 million in damages.
Cortes experienced symptoms of food poisoning including severe stomach cramps and extreme thirst that came on suddenly after he arrived at JFK and not long after he consumed his airline meal. Cortes went ahead and boarded his Miami connecting flight where he experienced a cardiac emergency with symptoms of nausea and shortness of breath. American Airlines landed the plane at Norfolk but Cortes was deceased by the time the flight landed.
Cortes’ family claims that the meal was contaminated with Clostridium perfingens bacteria, the third leading cause of food poisoning in the United States.
The bacteria can grow in food that is prepared properly but if too much time elapses before it is served bacteria germination can occur and bacterial colonies can form.
Most times when food is contaminated by C. perfingens it is not lethal
Sky Chefs is attempting to dismiss the case against them saying:
“Based upon the allegations in the complaint it is not possible that Sky Chefs is the responsible party because we did not cater the Barcelona flight in question.”
There are a lot of unanswered questions about this case. Most cases of food contamination do not present for 12 to 24 hours. The claimants will need to provide an autopsy report which reveals the presence of perfingens and show how that bacteria contributed to Corte’s death.
This information is provided by Washington Injury Attorney blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have serious illness due to foodborne illness and the family of those who have died.
Source: Passenger dies in-flight, family says airline to blame
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