A woman who alleged in July that Delta flight attendants failed to assist her after she claims she was sexually assaulted by an intoxicated passenger, is suing the company.
Delany Eva Luh, 23, who runs a fashion brand in Los Angeles, originally shared her story on Twitter in July. She posted that, on a June 16 flight from Chicago to Los Angeles, while seated between two male strangers, “I ended up falling asleep and woke up to a drunk man with his hands down my leggings.” (That tweet is now protected by privacy settings.)
Luh is now suing Delta for continuing to serve the inebriated man alcohol, and for offering her a $200 voucher as compensation after he assaulted her. She is seeking $1 million in compensatory damages and another $5 million in punitive damages.
According to the lawsuit, one of her seatmates fell asleep, and the other — in an aisle seat — leaned in close and attempted to “engage her in small talk,” including about his “marital problems.”
Luh describes his eyes as having been watery and bloodshot, and says his breath smelled strongly of alcohol. The lawsuit states that despite the man being clearly drunk, Delta employees served him “as many as six to eight alcoholic beverages” within two hours. Luh claims her “concerned look” aimed at the flight attendant, and hoping to was ignored.
“[Luh] worried Assailant would become agitated with her if he realized she had complained about him. The flight attendant ignored [Luh],” the lawsuit reads.
The lawsuit goes on to allege that the man pretended to make a phone call to a person named “Molly,” saying that he hoped to meet “cool girls who were unlike this one next to [me].” Luh told the man to “back off” and said he was in “her bubble,” before leaning as far from him as possible and eventually falling asleep.
While she was sleeping, Luh alleges, she was “startled awake” with discomfort as the assailant was “digitally penetrating” her vagina. Luh attempted to move from her middle seat, but the assailant refused to let her by, according to the lawsuit. His tray table was down and reportedly held several alcoholic drinks provided by the airline, which she knocked over when she maneuvered over him. The lawsuit adds that the assailant pointed to his erect penis in his pants as she exited her seat.
Luh was seated elsewhere for the remainder of the flight, but says Delta did not notify law enforcement upon landing, allowing the alleged assailant to leave the plane. (Luh contacted law enforcement herself.) According to Luh, Delta gave her a $200 voucher for future travel after she complained about the way the situation had been handled.
Delta has disputed parts of her account, responding to Yahoo! back in July that after Luh disembarked she told “a Delta agent that she had been improperly touched on the leg by another passenger during her flight.
“Immediately upon learning this information, Delta reported the incident to local and federal law enforcement for their handling,” the airline said.
CNN reported in June that FBI investigations into midair sexual assaults increased by an “alarming” 66 percent from fiscal year 2014 to 2017. The bureau said it had opened 63 investigations into sexual assault on aircraft in 2017, compared with 57 in 2016, 40 in 2015 and 38 in 2014.
Read the full story at Yahoo!