The woman originally filed a lawsuit against Iberia Airlines and American Airlines in May in Tarrant County court. On Tuesday, the case was moved to U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Texas in Fort Worth. Neither airline responded to the original suit, according to the lawsuit.
The Star-Telegram is not naming the woman because it does not identity victims of alleged sexual assault.
In response to the suit, an American Airlines representative said in a statement the company is committed “to providing a safe, positive travel experience for all of our customers.”
In May 2017, the woman said, she and her husband were traveling to Paris on an Iberia Airlines flight operated by American Airlines. When she got on the plane, she took a pain reliever that had been prescribed after a recent surgery.
The man next to her talked with her until she covered herself with a blanket and fell asleep, she said in the suit. Her husband was seated several rows away, according to the lawsuit.
She woke up to a sharp pain in her vaginal area and was facing the man next to her, who had put his hand in her vaginal area, according to the lawsuit. She tried to remove his hand, but he made a threatening gesture to silence her, the suit says.
The woman eventually escaped from her seat and told crew members what happened. They told her nothing could be done until the plane landed and she could not change seats because the flight was overbooked, she said.
The woman went back to sit by the man, where she “silently sobbed and attempted to calm herself in order to not alarm her husband who was sleeping,” the suit says. READ MORE…