Friday, December 2, 2011

American Airlines Denies Killing Passenger with Horrible Food

MIAMI, Fla. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- The embattled operators of American Airlines, who recently filed for bankruptcy, now face a lawsuit from the family of a passenger who died of a heart attack aboard one of their flights earlier this year. Relatives of Othon Cortes, the victim, accused the carrier of allowing Cortes to board a connecting flight to Miami from JFK International while visibly ill. They blamed food poisoning for his condition. According to the lawsuit, Cortes died on May 18 after eating a meal during the Barcelona-to-New York leg of his trip. The complaint further alleged negligence on the part of American Airlines for failing to provide medical attention and waiting too long to perform an emergency landing.

Raquel Cortes, the wife of the man killed by airplane food, claimed that American served her husband substandard fare contaminated with a deadly bacteria, Clostridium perfingens. After touching down in New York, she said, Othon complained of acute stomach cramps, sudden thirst and other “clear outward manifestations of severe physical illness.”

Representatives from American vehemently denied accusations of wrongdoing, and laughed openly at the charges.

Hayes Cunningham, a media relations executive with the airline, said: “Although we can’t comment in detail on the incident, as the investigation remains ongoing, I can say that we all had a good chuckle over the lawsuit and confidently refute the Cortes’ allegations. As we intend to prove in court, it’s impossible that Mr. Cortes suffered a heart attack from eating food he was served on an American Airlines flight. We ended meal service years ago, about the same time we decided to charge passengers a mint to check any bag bigger than a coin purse onto our planes. Heck, you can’t even get a pack of stale peanuts without us placing a $75 hold on your credit card. Maybe they should be suing the Sbarro at JFK, ‘cause he didn’t get any food from us.”

Cunningham added that even when meals were still offered by carriers, a typical person would have been unable to diagnose a foodborne illness.

“It’s impossible to differentiate the poor physical condition of a passenger who ate normal airplane food from one who ate poisoned food,” Cunningham explained. “Regardless, they all look the same -- sick, dehydrated, weak, doubled over in abdominal distress, vomiting usually. My guess is that Mr. Cortes was in bad health to begin with. It’s common for people without a lot of money to be sick. And Mr. Cortes was clearly down on his luck; otherwise, he would’ve booked his trip on Virgin.”

Officially, American Airlines has refused to speculate on the actual cause of death in the case. Cunningham, however, mused that “since we cut costs by recirculating the interior air, it’s a lot more likely that he was poisoned by the deadly bacteria and awful diseases being passed around the cabin. I mean, have you been on one of our flights? All those poor people huddled together like cattle on a train to the slaughterhouse. It’s just disgusting and inhumane.”

Cunningham called the suit a frivolous attempt to wheedle a struggling company out of its revenues during a time of vulnerability. “We don’t kill our passengers with food,” he said. “We kill them with kindness.”

Cortes family members remain steadfast in their assertions and are suing American for $1 million, the current net worth of the company.

(c) 2011. See disclaimers.

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