Nearly two years later, a man has sued Delta and another passenger for negligence after being mauled by an emotional support dog on a flight to San Diego.
Marlin Jackson claims he was sitting in a window seat on a flight from Atlanta to San Diego in June 2017 when the oversized emotional support dog of the passenger next to him suddenly pushed him against the window and attacked his face. The dog was pulled away but broke loose and mauled Jackson for a second time. The “chocolate lab pointer mix” was traveling with a U.S. Marine veteran and began growling at Jackson before he attacked.
The lawsuit, obtained by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, alleges:
- Jackson “bled so profusely that the entire row of seats had to be removed from the airplane”
- 28 stitches and ongoing medical treatment were necessary to address the punctures and lacerations on his face
- Jackson suffered “permanent injury and loss of sensation in areas of his face”
- Emotional distress and mental anguish
- Loss of income and earning potential
- Exorbitant medical bills
To show negligence, Jackson must show Delta failed to exercise a proper standard of care even though it had a duty and could foresee the consequences of not doing so. The lawsuit claims:
The harm of large, untrained and unrestrained animals in the cabin of an airplane was reasonably foreseeable to Delta, or should have been….[Delta] knew or should have known that subjecting passengers and animals to close physical interaction in the confined, cramped and anxious quarters of the cabin, presented a reasonably foreseeable harm.
This was the incident that led Delta, as well as American and United, to make changes to their emotional support animal policy.
> Read More: Delta Seriously Restricts Emotional Support Animals
> Read More: United Cracks Down on Emotional Support Animals
Jackson is being represented by the law firm Alexander Shunnarah & Associates. You can see a picture of the injuries below (WARNING: GRAPHIC)–
My guess is that this lawsuit comes now because the statute of limitations is two years. As you can see from the pictures above, this was a horrible attack and certainly deserves compensation. Now a jury will decide how much.
More importantly for all of us, this tragic indecent led to meaningful changes onboard so that we, the traveling public, will be far less likely to be subjected to dogs like the one that attacked Jackson.