A California woman injured while sliding down an emergency chute after a Delta Air Lines flight returned to Atlanta is suing the airline, according to a lawsuit.
Tania Garcia-Castro said she continues to suffer from pain, both physical and emotional, since the June 2011 incident when the Los Angeles-bound flight returned to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. She said her medical expenses have exceeded $55,000.
A spokesman for Atlanta-based Delta said the company does not comment on pending litigation. The lawsuit was filed in Gwinnett County Superior Court last month.
Flight 1323, headed to L.A. on June 20, 2011, had 174 people onboard and was loaded with 48,000 pounds of jet fuel, according an air traffic control recording obtained by 95.5FM News/Talk WSB.
In her suit, Garcia-Castro said the flight had just taken off when passengers heard “a loud bang” and “red streaks of fire” were seen coming from a left engine. Someone from the flight crew was heard on the air traffic control recording telling the control tower an engine had caught fire.
The plane returned to the airport and landed safely. The crew ordered passengers to evacuate down the emergency chute.
Garcia-Castro said after she slid down the chute, passengers following her collided into her before she had time to clear the slide. She said she was struck in the back and legs and suffered bruises, numbness and pain from the injuries.
At the time, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported several passengers suffered injuries as they slid down the escape chute.
The suit says Delta was negligent in not preventing the engine fire, in not conducting an orderly evacuation and in not keeping passengers from injury.
In addition to past, current and medical costs, Garcia-Castro is seeking compensatory damages for lost wages, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.
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