NY mom whose 14-year-old died after medical emergency on American Airlines flight blames crew, says defibrillator was faulty

Stephen Nartey May 20, 2024
Kevin fell unconscious during a flight back to New York. Photo: WFAA/Burns Charest LLP

A New York City mother, Melissa Arzu, has dragged American Airlines to court after her 14-year-old son, Kevin Greenidge, died following a medical emergency on a flight. The lawsuit claims that the defibrillator used by the crew was faulty and has since gone missing.

The incident occurred on American Airlines Flight 614 from Honduras to Miami in 2022, as Kevin was returning from vacation with a family member, according to the New York Post.

Arzu’s lawsuit, which was filed in Texas, alleges that American Airlines cabin crew were slow to respond and inadequately trained when her 14-year-old son lost consciousness mid-flight. Arzu’s attorney, Hannah Crowe, stated that multiple eyewitnesses confirmed the defibrillator used to try to resuscitate Kevin did not work properly.

“After Kevin died, the equipment went missing,” Crowe said. “Did someone at American intentionally destroy it? Is it defective? Put back out in service?

“These are all really serious violations of the federal laws that are in place to protect passengers,” she added.

Federal Aviation Administration mandates all passenger planes to carry defibrillators since 2004, deeming them essential equipment without which a plane cannot depart. Kevin, who had asthma and type 2 diabetes, experienced a fatal heart attack onboard.

The lawsuit against American Airlines alleges the company didn’t provide the required advance payment of $113,100 for Kevin’s death as per their policy. American Airlines refrained from commenting on the litigation but expressed condolences to Kevin’s family.

Following unsuccessful resuscitation attempts, the flight was diverted to Cancun, Mexico, where Kevin passed away in a hospital.

“After Kevin died, I never heard from American Airlines,” Arzu said in a statement. “It made me feel hopeless. I want answers from American Airlines.

“I want American Airlines to take full responsibility for Kevin’s death,” she added. “I never want this to happen to a child or family again.”

Arzu’s initial lawsuit in New York was dismissed as American Airlines successfully argued for the trial to take place in Fort Worth, Texas, where the company is headquartered, according to Crowe.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: May 20, 2024


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