Murfreesboro couple sues Delta Airlines after alleged in-flight sexual assault

Local News

RUTHERFORD COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — A Murfreesboro couple has filed a lawsuit against Delta Airlines following an alleged sexual assault that took place on a flight in May of 2019.  

The lawsuit claims that while on a flight from Atlanta to Germany, a woman was sexually assaulted by a neighboring passenger. The woman said while she was sleeping, a neighboring passenger placed his hand down her pants and grabbed her breast.  

The Murfreesboro woman claims she left her seat, went to the lavatory, and told a flight attendant what happened. The victim alleges the first flight attendant said she wasn’t sure what to do and the victim had to repeat her story multiple times to various crew members. 

The woman said she was asked to return to her seat but refused. Eventually, she was reassigned seats, but not before having to gather her belongings from her original seat, next to the person accused of sexually assaulting her. 

The lawsuit said despite repeated requests to speak with police upon landing, it took until nearly the end of the flight for a crew member to alert the captain, who arranged for police to be available upon landing. 

The lawsuit read in part: 

“Plaintiff’s losses were significantly exacerbated by the response of the flight crew. Plaintiff sought help in a distraught state after an extremely traumatic event; she felt trapped with no escape from her perpetrator and was told by DELTA AIR LINES to return to her seat, i.e., next to a known rapist. Plaintiff asked for help, and the response from DELTA AIR LINES’ flight attendants left her feeling like she was not being taken seriously, especially by asking her to continually repeat the incident. Plaintiff refused to return to her seat and sat down in the aisle, where another flight attendant bumped her with a beverage cart and told her to get out of the way.” 

It also claims the incident put a burden on the victim and her husband’s relationship, which is why he is also named as a plaintiff. 

An amount the couple is seeking was not disclosed and the lawsuit asked that the amount be determined at trial. 

News 2 reached out to Delta Airlines for comment.  

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