Skip to comments.Woman wins $27.5 million Southwest suit
Posted on 04/12/2006 1:08:39 PM PDT by iPod Shuffle
Woman wins $27.5 million Southwest suit
EL PASO A jury awarded $27.5 million in damages to a woman of Iranian descent who alleged she was racially profiled when Southwest Airlines accused her of assaulting a flight attendant and interfering with a flight crew.
Samantha Carrington, of Santa Barbara, Calif., won in the civil case Friday after suing the Dallas-based carrier for false imprisonment and malicious prosecution. Carrington was arrested by federal authorities in 2003 after her Houston-to-Los Angeles flight made a scheduled stop in El Paso. Criminal charges were never filed.
According to court records, three flight attendants said Carrington, a naturalized citizen from Iran, became verbally abusive during the flight, grabbed the arm of one flight attendant and threatened to go to the cockpit if the captain was not summoned.
Carrington, 54, denied those allegations and said she was the one mistreated during the short flight. She said the flight attendants lied about her behavior.
"In the evidence it came out that one of the flight attendants stated that Ms. Carrington reminded her of a terrorist, and in our views she was the victim of profiling stereotypes and discrimination," her lawyer Enrique Moreno told the El Paso Times for Tuesday's edition.
In a sworn deposition Carrington, who teaches economics at California State University, Los Angeles, said since her arrest she has been the subject of increased scrutiny and security checks when she travels internationally.
Though Southwest Airlines has denied any wrongdoing, a few months after the incident the company did send Carrington an apology letter, offering her 20 round-trip tickets. The letter was signed by Colleen C. Barrett, president and former chief operating officer. Barrett said in a sworn affidavit that she didn't know anything about the case and didn't write the letter.
A Southwest spokeswoman said the decision will be appealed.
"We certainly don't agree with this particular verdict," spokeswoman Beth Harbin told the newspaper. "The verdict was not based on all the available facts because those facts were not presented to the jury for their consideration."
TWO WORDS: Tort Reform
Even if we accept for the sake of argument that the woman was wronged, to assert that she is due 27.5 million is absurd. I would happily go through that ordeal for 50K.
You won't see this episode on "AIRLINE"...
Why don't we just give all our money to muslims and kill ourselves - that is where our crazy PC culture is going anyways...
I'm guessing that an Air Marshall should have capped her ass when she started squawking in the aisle thus saving everybody a bunch of aggravation.
Better choice, one word, "appeal".
SWA cannot pay a cent of this award. Other passengers will.
Dear SWA: I would rather pay more on my next ticket to fight this award, than to pay this loser and her slimeball lawyer the big bucks...
El Paso...Mexican judge and jury. They hope to hit the lawsuit lottery themselves someday.
Bring your lawyers, guns and money.
Appeal it and throw this crap outta court! Profiling is a valid technique, dammit.
It is the most profound and maddening irony that the jury can be profiled, and normal people rejected, but a potential terrorist cannot be...
You are right...never mind.
SW Airlines has to appeal this bogus suit....
They are not getting taken to court by the parents of that boy that died in a car in Chicago..after one of their planes skidded off a runway...
I know people who have been verbally abused by flight attendants and who were then threatened with arrest when they fought back (verbally).
right on! this is worth 27.5 million? Give me a break! I wonder how treatment would be back in Iran?
Works for me.
Although the amout of the award is excessive, by a large amount, appraently the jury did not think it was a bogus suit.
When I first saw this headline I thought it was the woman who screamed racism because a flight attendant told her to hurry up and sit down before a flight some years ago. A black woman sued the airline but I think common sense prevailed and the case was thrown out.
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