American Airlines Passenger Claims Flight Attendant Assaulted Him

An American Airlines Passenger is claiming that a flight attendant assaulted him during a flight. Gregory Lagana has filed a lawsuit against the airline stating that the physical assault has caused him to have a traumatic brain injury, severe headaches, and back and neck injuries.

The Incident on Flight 1798

On January 5, 2018, Gregory Lagana traveled on American Airlines flight 1798 from Charlotte, NC, to Philadelphia, PA. Originally, he was booked on a flight from Aruba to Philadelphia on January 3, 2018. Due to cancellations and flight delays, however, he ended up on this flight.

American Airlines Passenger Claims Flight Attendant Assaulted Him
Lagana’s destination, Philadelphia International Airport.

When flight attendant Lance Wiley tried to take Lagana’s drink order, the two supposedly got into an argument about the order. As reported by Yahoo Lifestyle, Lagana ordered a Coke with ice; however, Wiley gave him a can of Coke instead. The situation started to get out of control when the passenger asked the flight attendant to “just give [him] the f***ing ice.”

Lagana was sitting in his seat with his seatbelt fastened when Wiley allegedly pinned down the passenger’s right arm and punched him in the face several times. Consequently, Lagana curled up to protect himself, and the flight attendant started hitting him in the back of his head.

Interestingly, no witnesses have stepped forward so far. Supposedly there is also no video evidence of the assault.

American Airlines Passenger Claims Flight Attendant Assaulted Him
American Airlines Flight 1798 is operated on an Airbus A320.

Lagana’s attorney, Edward P. Capozzi of the law firm Brach Eichler, said that Lagana reacted the way he did when he ordered the drink because he was frustrated due to the flight delays. Alcohol, however, was not involved. Moreover, he stated that “[the flight attendant] literally beat the crap out of [Lagana].” Capozzi is planning on obtaining a passenger list to interview passengers that were close by during the incident.

The Injuries

Lagana was treated for his injuries at the Princeton Medical Center in New Jersey. According to the lawsuit, Lagana’s injuries include abrasions, bruising, scalp hematomas, redness, swelling, as well as defensive wounds to his hand. The passenger required neurosurgical, neurological and chiropractic care.

The Lawsuit

USA TODAY reported that Lagana has filed a lawsuit against American Airlines claiming that “[a]s a result of the accident, [he] suffered severe, serious and permanent personal injuries, as well as mental and emotional injuries rendering him permanently and severely injured.” Lagana also stated that the “injuries were caused by an unexpected or unusual event.” Furthermore, he said that he “was not involved in any wrongdoing that jeopardized the safety of the aircraft.”

American Airlines Passenger Claims Flight Attendant Assaulted Him
AMR Headquarters.

Lagana, a resident of New Jersey, filed the lawsuit against American Airlines in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey last Friday. He is suing the airline for $161,000 in damages. Reportedly, American Airlines received a summons on Monday. The airline has not commented on the incident but is “reviewing the lawsuit.”

It will be very interesting to see American Airlines’ response and the outcome of the lawsuit.

What are your thoughts? Should airlines install security cameras in their cabins?