Kevin Greenidge: American Airlines passenger died as defibrillator on flight was not charged, claims lawsuit

Kevin Greenidge: American Airlines passenger died as defibrillator on flight was not charged, claims lawsuit
Representational photo (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

MIAMI, FLORIDA: A passenger who boarded an American Airlines flight to Florida died in last year in 2022 after he went into cardiac arrest. He could have been saved if the automatic external defibrillator on board the plane was charged and ready-for-use, says the passenger's mother. On June 4, Kevin Greenidge was traveling from San Pedro Sula, Honduras, to Miami when he suffered the medical trauma and became unconscious. 

Now, Greenidge's mother,  Melissa Arzu, has filed a lawsuit against the airline in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York. The lawsuit says Greenidge’s resulting death was "caused wholly and solely by reason of the carelessness, recklessness and negligence of the defendant AMERICAN, its respective agents, servants and/or employees in failing to maintain an automatic external defibrillator (AED) on board the subject flight" and "failing to ensure that the AED and its mobile battery pack were fully and properly charged." 

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It also accuses American Airlines of "failing to train its employees with basic resuscitation technique" and "causing, permitting and allowing the mobile battery pack to drain down to no power thereby causing the AED to stop working." The lawsuit also added, "That as a consequence of the defendant’s negligence in failing to maintain a working defibrillator upon their flight caused, permitted and/or hastened the untimely death of... Kevin Greenidge", reported Fox News

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American Airlines jets are parked at their gates at Laguardia AIrport on November 10, 2022 in the Queens borough of New York City. The airline industry has rebounded this year and is looking forward to a busy holiday season.
American Airlines jets are parked at their gates at Laguardia AIrport on November 10, 2022 in the Queens borough of New York City. The airline industry has rebounded this year and is looking forward to a busy holiday season. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Which act did the lawsuit reference?

The lawsuit references the Aviation Medical Assistance Act of 1998, saying that the law "requires airlines to carry defibrillators aboard each aircraft with flight attendants" and that the devices "must be inspected regularly in accordance with inspection periods established in the operations specifications to ensure its condition for continued serviceability and immediate readiness to perform its intended emergency purposes." Among other relief, the lawsuit is seeking damages and payment of attorney fees. 

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What did the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) say?

The suit was filed after the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said that it is probing another close call involving one of American Airlines flights at Sarasota Bradenton International Airport.  According to NTSB, on Feb. 16, an Air Canada Rouge A-321 aircraft got the clearance for takeoff on Runway 14 at the same time an American Airlines B-737 plane was cleared to land on the same runway. Officials said the American Airlines crew self-initiated a go-around, aborting the landing.

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 Kevin Greenidge: American Airlines flyer died as defibrillator on flight not charged, claims lawsuit