An Orange County family sues airline crew for letting a man die during the flight. Instead of calling for medical assistance they called the police when the plane landed and they didn’t help him during the flight as they considered him a threat, claims family of the man.
A family from Orange county sued Southwest Airlines, claiming that the flight attendants were unable to help one of their dying family members who was on board of a flight that landed on the 19th of September on the John Wayne airport.
46 year old Richard Anthony Ilczyszyn, passed away few hours after suffering a pulmonary attack caused by a blood cloth stuck on his lung while he was in the bathroom of the airplane. According to his family, it appears that the flight attendants didn’t manage to help the man and informed the Orange County Sheriff’s Department to report the situation.
Apparently the flight attendants who were accused in the lawsuit, could hear Ilczyszyn screaming and crying in the bathroom where he was locked. One of them opened the door from the exterior and saw the man sitting with his head pointing down making strange noises, as if he was crying, stated reports from the police. It seems that the staff let him there until they landed, on the assumption that he was dangerous.
One of the flight attendants involved in the situation, Jenna Harrison, told the police that the man had on purpose kept the door closed with his foot making it difficult for authorities to reach him once the plane landed.
It appears that while the plane was being evacuated, Ilczyszyn staid alone in the bathroom, he had lost his consciousness and his brain was not receiving enough oxygen. The suit claimed that when the medical crew arrived the man had no pulse.
At 10:35 p.m., police officials took him out of the bathroom and gave him CPR, after which they transported him to the hospital, where he was put on life support. He died the next day at five p.m.
One of the lawyers that are representing Ilczyszyn’s family, Andrew Spielberger, has stated that the flight crew of Southwest Airlines, acted wrong in the situation, and instead of offering him medical help they considered him a menace, thing which contributed to his death. The attorney added that their aim is to change the approach of flight attendants when it comes to sick passenger, and they should be aware of their situation. In this way if someone has a weird behavior they will know the cause and not assume that they represent a threat.
Pulmonary attacks are not rare, and have happened quite a lot on planes, which is why it is expected for airlines to train their staff so they know how to handle this type of situations, identify the symptoms and even maybe offering them medical help during the flight.
The airline company, presented their condolences to the family of Ilczyszyn but didn’t take any blame for what happened to him. Southwest Airlines communicated trough is representative Brandy King, that after receiving the reports from their crew members and analyzing the event, they consider that what happened was an unfortunate medical incident that their staff has handled according to the book in an appropriate and professional manner.
Adding that the flight attendants tried to reach the man in order to help him and the pilot immediately called for help to wait for them as soon as they landed in Orange County. The flight crew is trained to treat screams and cries in the bathroom as a security problem.
Kelly the wife of Ilczyszyn who is also a flight attendant for the same company, stated that she knew that flight attendants have the responsibility to help people on the plane and they have to figure out what is going on, if a person is ok or not or if he/she needs medical help. Which is why she couldn’t understand why the staff didn’t help her husband.
Image Source: daily mail