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Passenger With COPD Sues Delta For Allegedly Giving Her An Empty Oxygen Tank

Delta Airlines is at the center of a lawsuit filed earlier this month. According to Business Insider, “a passenger with a lung condition says the crew gave her an empty oxygen tank on a flight.”

As a result, her condition allegedly worsened and required an expensive hospitalization. The passenger filed the complaint on June 2, 2023, in a Minnesota Court.

What Lung Condition Does The Passenger Have?

The passenger, Mattie Nash-Jackson, has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

This lung disease is life-long and incurable. The American Lung Association explains, “This chronic lung disease causes airflow limitation,” meaning there’s less air going in and out of the airways.

Women are especially susceptible to COPD, due to having smaller lungs than men. The disease is exacerbated by smoking and exposure to various pollutants.

What Happened?

The passenger boarded Delta Flight 2606 on June 7, 2017. It was on its way to Chicago from Minneapolis.

According to the suit, Delta’s crew didn’t allow Nash-Jackson to use a personal oxygen tank, even though it had already been approved. The carrier gave her another oxygen tank, which wasn’t suitable for her specific needs.

The Delta crew provided another oxygen tank that was allegedly empty. When the plane landed in Chicago, paramedics rushed Nash-Jackson to the hospital.

Paddle Your Own Kanoo reports, “Ms. Nash-Jackson alleges that gate agents in MSP (Minneapolis-St Paul International Airport) were negligent for not letting her board with her oxygen concentrator. She managed to get the correct approval to use it from Delta, and had done just that on a connecting flight from Phoenix the same day.”

The Medical Bills Were Sky High

Nash-Jackson’s time in the hospital resulted in a staggering medical bill of nearly $90,000. Her attorney claims that insufficient access to oxygen resulted in “severe and permanent bodily injuries.”

Business Insider reports “The woman is seeking damages in excess of $50,000 — the jurisdictional limit of Minnesota district courts.

A Delta representative told the publication, “While we, unfortunately, cannot comment on this specific matter, passenger safety is always Delta’s top priority.” 

RELATED: Delta And JetBlue Are The Latest Airlines To Ban Emotional Support Animals

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