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In June, I wrote about the tragic death of a ground worker at San Antonio International Airport (SAT). The employee was sucked into the engine of the Airbus A319 that had just flown Delta Air Lines flight DL1111 from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). A passenger on the flight is now suing for $1 million, claiming “intentional infliction of emotional distress,” among other things.
The Bexar County Medical Examiner’s office said David Renner, 27, died of blunt and sharp-force injuries, and the manner of death was listed as suicide. https://t.co/dnchkkC9kX
— KBTX News (@KBTXNews) June 27, 2023
David Renner’s death was ruled as a suicide. He was employed by Unifi Aviation. The company contracts workers to airlines for ground handling operations. The lawsuit names Unifi as well as Renner’s estate.
(Photo Credit: KENS5/YouTube.)
Insider is reporting that the passenger who filed the suit is named Mackenzie Hill. She was returning to San Antonio after being in California “for a church conference and graduation ceremony.” She had completed a two-year program for “equipping women for ministry,” per the suit. Her attorney claims she witnessed the suicide while seated in 11A with a view of the engine. Hill’s attorney says she has developed PTSD and has “nightmares and flashbacks.” The suit claims that Unifi knew that the employee had mental health issues and should have done something to prevent his suicide.
Per the suit, Hill alleges “various claims against Unifi and the former employee’s estate, including claims for negligent hiring, supervision, and retention; intentional infliction of emotional distress; and alleged violations of the Deceptive Trade Practices Act.”
Insider posted a statement from Unifi:
Although Unifi Aviation does not typically comment on pending litigation, we believe the claims asserted by Ms. Hill do not have any merit and intend to zealously defend ourselves. We continue to keep David Renner’s family and loved ones in our thoughts and prayers.”
Anthony’s Take: I’m sure witnessing someone being sucked into a jet engine is traumatic, but naming the employee’s estate in the suit seems cruel. This also seems like a money grab in my unofficial, non-legal opinion.
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