A young fashion designer has filed a lawsuit against Delta Air Lines for serving alcohol to a “visibly intoxicated” passenger who sexually assaulted her during a flight and then letting him get away unpunished. Based on the lawsuit filed by 23-year-old Delany Luh last week, the male passenger sitting next to her during her June 16 flight from Chicago to Los Angeles shoved his hands down her leggings while she was sleeping. She further alleged that she was woken up after the man — identified only as “Will” — penetrated her vagina with his fingers, MailOnline reports.
Luh, founder of fashion label “I Am Plenty Apparel,” is now seeking $1 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages against Delta for mishandling the entire incident.
According to her lawyer James Friauf, Luh was seated between two male passengers during the said flight. While one of the men fell asleep, the other “attempted to engage her in small talk” about his work and “marital problems.”
“During the conversation, [Luh] observed [the man’s] eyes were watery and bloodshot,” noted the suit. “The smell of alcohol was noticeably strong on his breath. As assailant spoke, he leaned in close to [Luh], making her feel uncomfortable.”
“Despite Assailant’s obviously-inebriated state, Delta employees continuously served the assailant alcohol during the flight. Upon information and belief, Delta served Assailant as many as six to eight alcoholic beverages in the course of less than two hours.”
Luh even tried to get the “flight attendant’s attention and gave her a concerned look” as she was serving the man another drink.
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“[Luh] did so in an attempt to make the flight attendant aware of her discomfort without making obvious to Assailant that [Luh] was raising concern about his intoxication level,” the lawyer explained.
“[Luh] worried Assailant would become agitated with her if he realized she had complained about him. The flight attendant ignored [Luh].”
The suit further noted how the alcohol caused the man to become increasingly “bizarre and harassing.”
“At one point, Assailant pretended to make a telephone call during which he told the phantom participant named ‘Molly’ that he was going to California and was hoping to meet some “cool girls who were unlike this one next to [me], who [was] not being nice to [me].
“Assailant continued to talk to ‘Molly’ about Plaintiff, including referring to Plaintiff as a [expletive] and a ‘California [expletive]’ and postulating that Plaintiff was ‘in a gang’ because of a tattoo on her hand.”
Luh then reportedly told the man to leave her alone before leaning “as far as possible to the left and onto the window-seat passenger who was asleep and wearing headphones” before eventually falling asleep herself.
Friauf wrote that just minutes into Luh’s sleep, she was “startled awake by an abrupt discomfort in her vaginal area.”
Upon realizing that the man had his hands inside her, the designer immediately grabbed his arm and ordered him to move so she could get out of her seat.
When the man refused to budge, Luh was “forced to climb over him to reach the aisle.”
As she was trying to exit, the man then reportedly pointed to his “erect penis bulging from his pants.”
Luh’s movement knocked a cocktail off the man’s tray table and onto the floor, drawing the attention of other passengers.
She then “ran down the aisle of the aircraft to a Delta employee and tearfully recounted what had occurred.”
Court documents revealed that while Luh was allowed to relocate to a different seat for the remainder of the flight, she would find out later that the crew had failed to inform law enforcement of the incident upon landing.
According to the suit, “[Luh] was forced to notify appropriate law enforcement and airport authorities on her own after [Delta’s] employees allowed Assailant to exit the aircraft without incident or consequence for his abhorrent actions.”
Luh filed a complaint about the airline’s handling of the situation but was only given a $200 voucher that she could use for future travels.
In a statement, Delta said Luh told an agent she “had been improperly touched on the leg by another passenger during her flight.”
Delta further claimed that Luh made a complaint only after she had left the aircraft.
“Immediately upon learning this information, Delta reported the incident to local and federal law enforcement for their handling,” noted the statement.