NEW YORK -- A male passenger groped a mother and her underage daughter while aboard an international flight last summer after being overserved alcohol by Delta Air Lines, according to a federal lawsuit filed last week in New York, CNN reported.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. Eastern District Court of New York, alleges that Delta flight attendants continued to serve alcohol to an intoxicated passenger even after the mother and her 16-year-old daughter repeatedly told them that the man was making them feel "unsafe" and inappropriately touching them.
The unnamed plaintiffs in the lawsuit allege that throughout the duration of the nearly nine-hour flight from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York to Athens, Greece, the man made obscene gestures, sexually assaulted, and yelled at the 16-year-old girl seated next to him on the flight. Delta flight attendants served the man "approximately ten vodka on ice drinks" among other alcoholic beverages, during the course of the flight according to the lawsuit.
The mother, who was sitting on the other seat next to her daughter, said she repeatedly "begged" flight attendants to stop serving the man alcohol.
The mother and daughter both allege in the complaint that flight attendants dismissed their claims and downplayed their concerns about the man.
At one point on the flight the lawsuit alleges that the young girl began having a "panic attack" after becoming "terrified that no one was helping her or her mother find safety and that they were stuck on this aircraft, in a small row alone with the intoxicated Delta passenger."
Eventually another passenger on the flight who saw the young girl crying and afraid offered to switch seats with her for the rest of the flight, according to the lawsuit.
When the flight landed in Greece, the man was allowed to leave the aircraft with no police intervention despite the mother's request that authorities arrest him in Athens, the lawsuit said.
"While we don't have any specific comment on this pending litigation, Delta has zero tolerance for customers who engage in inappropriate or unlawful behavior," a Delta spokesperson said in a statement to CNN. "Nothing is more important than the safety of our customers and our people."
The plaintiffs are seeking compensatory and punitive damages in an amount to be determined at trial. CNN has reached out to the plaintiffs' attorney for comment.
(The-CNN-Wire & 2023 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.)