American Airlines Passenger Sues Airline and Alleges Text Harassment by Employee

An airline passenger certainly should not expect to be harassed by an employee of the airline.  That is exactly what a San Diego woman alleges happened when she flew an American Airlines flight from San Diego to Chicago.  She claims in a new lawsuit that an American Airlines employee obtained her phone number from her luggage tag and used it to send more than 100 harassing and sexually suggestive text messages to her.  Many of these messages were sent while she was still at the airport in San Diego and some were sent after she boarded the plane (he apparently was a passenger on the same flight). 

The passenger is suing American Airlines and the employee (whose name she does not know), alleging negligent hiring, sexual harassment, stalking and intentional infliction of emotional distress and is seeking damages and attorney’s fees.

While her claim against the employee, if true, has obvious merit, many of these claims against the airline will be difficult to prove unless the employee has engaged in wrongful behavior before, either while at American Airlines or prior.  If this behavior occurred prior to his employment at American, the plaintiff will need to prove that American should have known about this behavior through reasonable hiring practices. 

According to an ABC News Article, American has stated that it has terminated the employment of the employee.  Will this be enough?    

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