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Published on : Friday, June 12, 2015
Theresa Purcell, a person with neurological disorder which keeps her confined to her wheelchair faced a very difficult and thoroughly trying situation when she boarded an American Airline flight. She was told that a ramp could not be set for her shortly before the departure off the plane and Theresa had to crawl her way up to the plane and her seat without any assistance from the crew members or the staff.
She immediately filed a lawsuit against the airline mentioning that never before had she faced such an outrageous treatment by any airline. The airline didn’t even serve an apology for its behavior. The lawsuit has been filed at $6million dollar by her attorney. The company has expressed that it is willing to settle matters for a $2million.
She was not offered any help by any one sitting in the plane. The crew members just stood watching. This was the most embarrassing moment that Theresa had never faced before.
The American Airlines acknowledged that it had violated the U.S. Department of Transportation’s CFR 14 Part 382, a law also known as the Air Carrier Access Act that obligates airline companies to provide the necessary assistance for disabled passengers to allow them to enter planes safely. Tools outlined in these guidelines include mechanical lifts and ramps.
Despite such strict rules passengers with disability find it hard to secure seating well in advance. They are also faced with difficulty while using the restroom. They are forced to avoid drinking and eating before the flight. They are mostly not given assistance and receive the wrong kind of wheel chairs. Sometimes people with disabilities are made to wait for hours as it is cumbersome to bring wheel chairs down the elevators. American Airlines had also denied a cancer patient access to a wheel chair much before the Purcell incident occurred.