An unnamed NFL player is suing United Airlines, alleging that during a February flight, he was sexually harassed, assaulted, and violated by a female passenger, and that the airline failed to properly respond to the complaints.
The civil suit was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, and is seeking uspecified statutory and punitive damages from the airline.
In the lawsuit, the player alleges that he and another passenger in the same row made four complaints to flight attendants that the woman was making “unwanted sexual advances” before she was moved to another seat.
The lawsuit is being filed against United because, according to the lawsuit, the airline wouldn’t give them the name of the woman, the flight attendants and potential witnesses, and because the airline failed to follow policies to respond sexual harassment and assault.
According to their story, the men first alerted flight attendants that the woman was belligerent and disruptive, appearing to be intoxicated. A second notification came when the woman made sexual advances on the NFL player, massaging his knees and thighs. More than an hour into the flight, they allege that the woman’s advances intensified and she grabbed and groped the player. Again, flight attendants were notified of the situation.
The woman continued, pulling off the protective mask the player was wearing and grabbing his genitals. At that point, the player got out of his seat and complained in front of the whole plane. He went to notify an attendant, again, which is when the woman was finally moved.
The lawsuit is alleging that United’s failure to properly respond to the situation or enforce adequate policies to prevent in-flight sexual harassment or assault is a breach of its duty to protect and care for its passengers.
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