According to a recent lawsuit, an elderly woman’s death was caused by the negligence of Alaska Airlines when they failed to escort her from one flight to another. Due to confusion and a tragic turn of events, the elderly woman, Kekona, died three months later from complications to injuries that were caused during her un-supervised time between flights. Now, Alaska Airlines faces fines over the 75 year old’s are tragic death.
According to the lawsuit, Alaska Airlines and its door to door contractor, Huntleigh, were supposed to have escorted Kekona from her landing flight in Portland to her connecting flight which would eventually take her home to Washington. Kekona was returning from a long vacation with her family in Hawaii.
The family claims that they had made arrangements with Alaska Airlines to make sure that Kekona would be assisted between flights and ensure that the victim was properly taken care of during this time.
However, when the victim departed from her flight, she was simply placed into a wheelchair and left to her own devices. When asked why there was no one there to meet her, Huntleigh claimed that Alaska Airlines never told them that the victim needed their services and therefore did not show up for her.
During the time between flights, the victim became distressed and began to desperately look for her gate. Roaming the airport in her electric wheelchair, Kekona eventually came to an escalator which she tragically mistook for an elevator. What ensued was a long fall down the steel stairs head first.
The incident caused intense distress for Kekona, as well as multiple cuts to her face, and a serious leg injury that required emergency surgery. It was only three months after the incident that doctors were forced to remove the injured leg due to a foot infection.
After this, Kekona began to experience constant pain and low blood pressure. Tragically, the victim never recovered from the surgery and, according to a report made by Business Insider,
she passed away the next day.
Kekona’s family is devastated at these turn of events. In a statement from their lawyer, Brook L. Cunningham, the family of the victim claims that they had “called and confirmed three separate times” to ensure that assistance would be provided to the victim.
Cunningham is arguing that Alaska Airlines was legally required to make sure Kekona was escorted from her flight to the gate for her connecting flight. While Cunningham did not cite specific monetary damages, the suit shows that Kekona’s medical bills alone were almost $300,000.
In response to the claims, Alaksa Airlines simply argues that the victim’s death is not their fault and that the death is actually the fault of the victim and her family. In a statement to Business
Insider, Alaska Airlines said that Ms Kekona was offered assistance but “declined ongoing assistance in the terminal and decided to proceed on her own”.