American Airlines is being sued over a brawl between two flight attendants during a 2016 flight.
Normally you hear about a major airline getting sued over a fight between passengers. Sometimes you hear about an airline catching flack for a flight attendant or security roughing up a passenger. But this is the first time we’ve ever heard of a brawl between two flight attendants that actually took place at 35,000 feet above sea level.
The two combatants who joined the mile-high Octagon club are Kathy Ida Wolfe and Laura Powers. We don’t know their heights or weights, but we do know from the Dallas Morning News that Powers is aged 56. We don’t know how old Wolfe is, but according to the suit (also obtained by the Dallas News), she didn’t come away from the brawl unscathed.
Wolfe filed suit against American Airlines in federal court last Friday claiming that Powers "maliciously dug her fingernails into my arm, and slammed the door of a beverage cart on my arm.” Powers then "grabbed my scarf, choking me, and dragged me in the aisle and in front of the passengers.”
If this sounds like an assault and battery charge for Powers rather than a suit against an airline, Wolfe also states she contacted the local authorities to press charges, however, American Airlines failed to provide any assistance or investigate the issue. Wolfe is now accusing the airline of failing to take any action and creating a dangerous work environment.
Wolfe initially filed suit in Tarrant County, Texas, to which Powers and AA both responded stating that they are "not liable because Plaintiff caused or contributed to cause the harm for which recovery of damages is sought."
Basically, both Wolfe and Powers engaged in a mutual exchange of fisticuffs that both sought out and did nothing to stop.
Now it’s up to a federal judge to see if the case has any merit. Wolfe is seeing damages in the amount of $1 million against AA for negligence, creating a dangerous work environment, and breach of contract. Powers is also named in the suit for assault and battery.
Neither of the flight attendants nor American Airlines responded to requests for comments.