Family of Disabled Delta Air Passenger Sues Carrier and Airport Over His Death After Falling From Wheelchair

The family of a disabled man who died just over a month after a serious fall from his wheelchair at the hands of airport staff is suing Delta Air Lines and Los Angeles International Airport for what the attorney for the family described as his wrongful death.

Ricardo Lopez Rangel was scheduled to fly from LAX to Honolulu, Hawaii with his wife Elva Lopez Navarro and three children on July 13, 2021, but Ricardo never even made it on the Delta plane that was supposed to fly them during a dream vacation.

The lawsuit that was filed Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court alleges that Delta staff told Ricardo he would have to board the plane through a different aircraft door than other passengers and that no member of his family was able to join him to help him. plank.

Airport and airline workers installed a steep ramp on the plane, then placed Ricardo in his wheelchair on the ramp. Before he could board the plane, the wheelchair fell backwards and off the ramp.

Ricardo fell to the ground and suffered “serious injuries”, including a laceration to the head, an occipital hematoma and a fractured skull. He also began to suffer from slurred speech and medical records indicate that his “mental state deteriorated within the first two hours in the emergency room (ER)”.

Ricardo’s health, it is claimed, continued to decline until his death on August 26, 2021.

Lawyers allege the ramp was “unsafe” and “unsafe” and that airport workers hired to get Ricardo onto the plane “did not assist him reasonably and safely.”

The steel ramp used had been installed at an “unreasonably high incline and in a manner which tended to cause wheelchairs to fall backwards”. The family say they suffered a loss of financial support following Ricardo’s negligent death and have asked the court to award them damages for loss of love and affection.

Delta Air Lines declined to comment on the impending litigation.

The airline says that as part of its commitment to its passengers with disabilities, an internal advisory board “promotes accessibility for all of our customers by providing recommendations to Delta regarding training, policies, procedures and anything else that has a impact on the travel experience of people with disabilities”. disabled.”

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Mateusz Maszczynski


Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the Middle East’s most important airline and flew throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centered stories. Always on the cutting edge, Matt’s knowledge, analysis and news coverage are often used by some of the biggest names in journalism.

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