Miami Wrongful Death Lawsuit Seeks Damages from American Airlines for Contaminated Chicken on Flight

The family of Othon Cortes has filed a Miami wrongful death lawsuit against American Airlines. They believe that the 73-year-old died last May because he ate contaminated chicken while on a flight going from Barcelona, Spain to New York.

Cortes’ daughter Sandra and widow Rachel say that the food contained Clostridium perfingens, which is a deadly bacteria. After they arrived in the US, Cortes reportedly began exhibiting signs of serious illness, including severe thirst and stomach cramps. His symptoms reportedly grew worse after they boarded their next flight to Miami. While the plane was in the air Cortes reportedly had a “cardiac event.” The plane made an emergency landing and he was then pronounced dead.

Also named as a defendant is Sky Chefs. However, the catering company said it played no part in preparing the meals on this particular flight. It is trying to get the case against it dismissed.

The family’s Miami wrongful death complaint blames the two defendants for failing to properly prepare and maintain Cortes’ food. They also claim that American Airlines should have let him get on the flight to Miami without making sure that he was given medical attention.

The plaintiffs are seeking over $1 million.

Food Injuries
Unfortunately, contaminated food can cause serious injuries including death. This is why it is so important that restaurants and other services that prepare and/or serve food make sure that all items are properly stored, cleaned, and cooked/prepared. Food injuries may include food poisoning, nausea, vomiting, choking injuries, chipped teeth, severe allergic reactions, and even death.

You may be able to pursue Miami personal injury damages against the parties responsible for serving you or your loved one the contaminated food.

Clostridium perfingens
Commonly found on poultry and raw meat, this spore-forming gram-positive bacterium is one of the most common foodborne illnesses. Elderly persons and young people are most at risk of developing this infection. If food contaminated with Clostridium perfingens is served and it hasn’t been reheated, this can cause the person eating to ingest the live bacteria.

American Airlines Sued After Man Dies Following In-Flight Meal, ABC News, November 30, 2011
Lawsuit: In-flight meal led to AA flier’s death, USA Today, November 30, 2011
Clostridium perfringens, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention