Suing Carrier For Unspecified Damages
you travel an airline in the US with checked baggage, on any given
day, the chances your bag will be lost or damaged is a little over
one-half of one percent. It's frustrating and aggravating to lose
your clothes or toiletries... but what if the airline lost the
remains of a deceased loved one?
Miguel Olaya, 60, would know. The Associated Press reports
Olaya's wife passed away of pelvic cancer, and he says hired the
DeRiso Funeral Home in Brooklyn to prepare and ship his wife's body
to Guayaquil, Ecuador, on April 1. The mortuary chose American
Airlines to ship the body.
Olaya is now suing the funeral home and American Airlines in
state Supreme Court in Brooklyn, New York, because when he met the
plane at the airport, his wife's remains were not onboard. It took
American four days to find the body, and Olaya claims when it was
returned to him, it was badly decomposed.
Christopher Robles, Olaya's lawyer, says the airline made
matters worse with a run-around. "First they didn't know where her
body was. Then they said maybe it was in Miami and finally they
said it was in Guatemala," he said. "Instead of sending it on the
flight to Guayaquil, American sent the body to Guatemala City."
Kathleen DeRiso, the funeral director, says someone at American
confused airport identifiers and coded the shipment for delivery to
GUA, for Guatemala City, when it should have been GYE, for
Guayaquil. She also denied botching the embalming.
"It was not our error... there was no decomposition," DeRiso
American has declined comment due to the pending litigation.
Olaya is seeking unspecified damages.