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Mother Sues American Airlines After Son Dies Due to Faulty Defibrillator

American Airlines

A woman has filed a lawsuit against American Airlines after her 14-year-old son passed away following a medical emergency on a flight. The suit claims that the aircraft’s defibrillator was defective and the crew lacked proper training to use it. According to the New York Post, Kevin Greenidge, 14, was returning to New York City from a family vacation in Honduras when he suddenly lost consciousness and went into cardiac arrest shortly after takeoff.

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The boy’s mother alleges that the flight crew was slow to respond when she called for assistance and struggled to operate the defibrillator. The flight made an emergency landing in Cancun, Mexico, where Kevin was taken to the hospital but was pronounced dead.

Kevin had asthma and type 2 diabetes, with his primary cause of death recorded as “myocardial infarction.”

The lawsuit, filed in the Northern District of Texas district court on Monday, claims his death was “caused wholly and solely by reason of the carelessness, recklessness, and negligence of the defendant.”

The suit states that when crew members “eventually attempted to use” the plane’s automated external defibrillator (AED), they were either unable to operate it correctly or it malfunctioned. Witnesses reported that each time the AED issued a “clear” warning to step back so a shock could be delivered, no shock was administered. Instead, the device continued to advise CPR.

“I never heard from American Airlines after Kevin died. It made me feel hopeless. I want answers from American Airlines. I want them to take full responsibility for Kevin’s death. I never want this to happen to another child or family,” said Kevin’s mother, Melissa Arzu, in a press release.

The lawsuit also claims the airline failed to pay her the advance $113,100 it owed per company policy when a passenger dies on board.

Flight attendants with US-based airlines are required to be trained in CPR and the use of automated external defibrillators. American Airlines declined to comment on the litigation but expressed their condolences to Kevin Greenidge’s loved ones.

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