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Sat, Aug 12, 2023

Woman Sues After Witnessing SAT Ramp Worker’s Death

Appropriating Tragedy

On 23 June 2023, ramp-worker David Renner, 27, lost his life after being ingested into the operating engine of a Delta Airlines Airbus A319 newly arrived at Texas’s San Antonio International Airport (SAT).

An unnamed individual with ostensible ties to the incident reported on condition of anonymity that Renner had “intentionally stepped in front of the live engine.”

On 27 June, the Bexar County Medical Examiner's Office and the NTSB jointly confirmed the death had been ruled a suicide and that Mr. Renner had died of blunt- and sharp-force injuries.

The decedent’s family stated he’d lived a challenging life marked by previous suicide attempts. The family added, however, that Renner, in the months preceding his death, had been happy, leading a clean life, and manifested “no indications” he intended to harm himself.

Comes now August 2023, and Mackenzie Hill, a woman traveling aboard the Delta A319 by which Renner perished, has filed a lawsuit against Unifi Aviation, Renner’s (then) employer and the U.S.'s largest provider of ground-handling services.

According to the suit, Hill had recently graduated from a two-year program for women for ministry and had gifted herself a trip to Disneyland prior to returning to her San Antonio home. As the Airbus made its way to the gate, Hill noticed a man on foot draw uncomfortably near the aircraft.

The filing contends Hill witnessed the man ingested into the aircraft’s engine and looked on as the fan “essentially shredded his body.”

The plaintiff states she quickly closed her window shade and attempted to brace herself.

The Delta cabin-crew reportedly instructed passengers to lower the entirety of the aircraft’s window shades and leave them closed throughout the 15 minutes passengers and crew were detained aboard the aircraft.

The lawsuit claims Hill’s offer to provide a statement pertaining to what she’d purportedly witnessed was declined.

The plaintiff alleges she suffers nightmares in the wake of Renner’s death and flashbacks of his body being “spit out” of the jet engine.

In her suit against UNIFI Aviation, Hill alleges:

  • Renner presented a suicide note to his supervisor prior to his death.
  • Renner had posted online outbursts consistent with a pathological mental state.
  • Renner suffered from substance abuse problems.
  • Renner may have been facing criminal charges.

Hill states her suit is predicated not only on the aforementioned, but UNIFI’s failure to remove or suspend Renner, or limit his access to operating aircraft.

Hill seeks monetary compensation for:

  • Mental anguish, both past and future.
  • Physical impairment in the past.
  • Loss of wage-earning capacity, both future and past.
  • DTPA treble damages.
  • Reasonable and necessary medical expenses, both past and future.
  • Attorney fees for DTPA claims.

The Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA) is a Texas law prohibiting false, deceptive, or misleading business practices.

FMI: www.aero-news.net/index.cfm?do=main.textpost&id=ce4d53ce-f632-412f-b9b1-117e906df5ba

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