A double lower limb amputee is filing a lawsuit against American Airlines after he was reportedly dragged off a flight.
Michael Mennella said he was defamed by the airline after they reportedly called the cops to have him arrested. The incident occurred on a flight from Miami International Airport heading to Las Vegas.
Mennella alleged the airline forgot to reserve a wheelchair for him as he had requested, forcing him to painfully climb onto the plane on his stumps. To make things even worse, once he was aboard the plane and asked for water for his pain medication, he was refused.
Taking matters into his own hands, Mennella hobbled to the back of the plane to ask another staffer for water, but they refused him once again. Then the crew allegedly informed passengers and colleagues sitting near Mennella that he was drunk and the pilot was diverting the plane back to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. The airline also told airport police the man was “intoxicated to the point of needing medical attention,” according to a police report in the lawsuit.
Two officers escorted Mennella out of the plane. However, when the police questioned him, they determined he was not under the influence. He was soon released and had to arrange for an alternate flight to Las Vegas.
“As demonstrated by police-administered field tests, and as revealed in an official field report, Mr. Mennella was not intoxicated. Instead, he was an innocent victim of AA's brutish misconduct,” the lawsuit claimed.
An American Airlines email said the man’s actions were “disruptive” and the pilot made the decision “for the safety of all passengers."
“We believe our pilot made the correct decision in this situation and we apologize if you feel otherwise,” it read.
Mennella claimed American airlines defamed him by calling him “a drunk” in front of all the passengers and getting police officers to escort him from the plane. He also stated the airlines’ actions were negligent.
Several social media users showed support for Mennella and condemned the airline.
I would honestly rather fight Mike Tyson in his prime with my hands tied behind my back than fly American Airlines again...— Rookie Davis (@rookdavis24) June 5, 2017
So American Airlines treated a double amputee like a dog. Just disgusting. Time to sell my AA stock. #boycottamericanairlines— Kerry L. Armstrong (@NotGuilty01) June 4, 2017