The family of Brittany Oswell recently filed a wrongful death lawsuit against American Airlines, alleging that American Airlines was negligent in its handling of a medical emergency suffered by Brittany on a 2016 flight from Hawaii to Dallas-Fort Worth.

Newlyweds Brittany and Corey Oswell were returning home from their honeymoon in Hawaii on American Flight 102 when Brittany became dizzy and disoriented, and then fainted. She regained consciousness and was examined by a doctor summoned by flight attendants who decided that Brittany had likely suffered a panic attack. 

Brittany was discovered sometime after this first incident on the floor of one of the aircraft's restrooms where she had collapsed again, and according to the lawsuit, "vomited and defecated all over herself and the lavatory." Brittany was once again examined by doctor. According to the lawsuit, "the doctor directed the flight attendants to inform the flight crew that it needed to divert the plane from its scheduled arrival at Dallas-Fort Worth to the nearest airport, so Brittany could receive proper medical care."

Although at that time the airplane was close to Albuquerque, New Mexico where it could have safely landed, according to the lawsuit, "the captain elected to continue the flight to Dallas-Fort Worth airport after conferring with the physician on call."

Soon after that, Brittany's pulse and breathing stopped, and medical attention was rendered by the doctor and flight attendants. They attempted to use an automatic external defibrillator (AED) on Brittany, but the machine failed. She received CPR and a shot of epinephrine, but Brittany did not recover consciousness.

Brittany died a few days later at Baylor Medical Center where she was diagnosed with anoxic brain damage resulting from an acute embolism.

In a statement to ABC News, a spokesperson for American Airlines said, "We take the safety of our passengers very seriously and we are looking into the details of the complaint."

Brad Cranshaw, the attorney for Brittany's family, asked, "The question is, why was no landing attempted and why did American choose to continue going on?"

Brittany's mother, Tina Starks, blamed the airline for her daughter's death. As she said in an ABC News interview, "We absolutely felt like this was not taken very seriously. She's no longer here to do anything with us and it's all because someone made a business decision to keep flying a plane when she needed emergency medical help that they could not provide because of inadequacies on board the flight."

Published on: Apr 28, 2018
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