The parents of a 13-year-old girl who was allegedly groped by an adult male stranger on an American Airlines flight last month, while she was flying unaccompanied, have filed a USD 10 million lawsuit against the airline.
The plaintiffs seek payment for medical, psychological and counselling services for the teenage girl. They accuse the airline of not keeping the child safe, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.
Chad Cameron Camp, 26, was arrested in June for abusive sexual contact of the teenager on an American flight from Dallas/Fort Worth to Portland, Oregon. See: Unaccompanied minor on flight was allegedly molested
The case has aroused much comment in the US because American Airlines charges an additional USD 150 for each leg of a roundtrip flight to carry unaccompanied minors. The fee ensures “your child is boarded onto the aircraft, introduced to the flight attendant, chaperoned during connections and released to the appropriate person at their destination,” the airline’s website says.
The lawsuit says: “During the flight, American provided [the girl] with no supervision, monitoring or enhanced level of safety different or apart from what it gave an adult passenger.
“[The teen] was introduced to the flight crew as an unaccompanied minor approximately an hour before the flight took off and its failure to adhere to the standard of care was a contributing factor to Plaintiffs’ injuries and damages as alleged herein.”
In a statement issued after the alleged incident occurred, American said: “American cares deeply about our young passengers and is committed to providing a safe and pleasant travel experience for them. We take these matters very seriously and have cooperated fully and immediately with law enforcement officials in their investigation of the suspect.”
Written by Peter Needham