A man mauled on a plane by a military veteran’s emotional support dog is seeking damages from the airline and the animal’s owner.
Marlin Jackson was sitting in the window seat when he was savaged during boarding of the Delta Air Lines flight from Atlanta to San Diego, according to court documents.
The dog had been sitting in the lap of the neighbouring passenger when it attacked his face and pinned him to the aircraft’s window, it is alleged.
The lawsuit says that Mr Jackson, who is from Alabama, bled “so profusely that the entire row of seats had to be removed from the airplane”.
It adds that the victim suffered cuts and puncture wounds to his face and upper body, which needed 28 stitches.
The June 2017 attack drew national attention in the US and led Delta to tighten up its rules on emotional support animals, including requiring a “confirmation of animal training” form and other documents.
Mr Jackson is now suing for compensation on grounds of negligence.
Giving details of the attack, the lawsuit says that while Mr Jackson was fastening his seatbelt “the animal began to growl” at him before biting him several times.
“The attack was briefly interrupted when the animal was pulled away from Mr Jackson. However, the animal broke free and again mauled Mr Jackson’s face,” the court documents state.
The damage claim states that Mr Jackson suffered permanent injury and loss of sensation in parts of his face, “severe physical pain and suffering”, and emotional distress and mental anguish, loss of income or earning potential, and substantial medical bills.
“His entire lifestyle has been severely impaired by this attack,” according to the lawsuit.
It claims Delta “took no action to verify or document the behavioural training of the large animal”, adding: “Such measures were feasible at the time but were not in effect until after this attack.”
Delta “knew or should have known that subjecting passengers and animals to close physical interaction in the confined, cramped and anxious quarters of the cabin, presented a reasonably foreseeable harm,” it said.
The dog’s owner was named in the police report as marine veteran Ronald Kevin Mundy Jr of Mills River, North Carolina, who had “advised that the dog was issued to him for support”.
Officers recorded the animal as a “chocolate lab pointer mix.”
The lawsuit alleges that Mr Mundy “knew or in the exercise of reasonable care, should have known that his large animal was foreseeably dangerous, especially when confined to the cramped and anxious quarters of the passenger cabin of an airplane”.
The lawsuit seeks damages for pain and suffering, lost wages, medical expenses and emotional pain, suffering and mental anguish.
Delta has said it does not comment on pending legal action.
Source: SKY NEWS