She Got on Plane and 'Stepped Into Her Coffin'

American Airlines sued by family of passenger who suffered a medical emergency midflight
By Janet Cromley,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 27, 2018 1:17 PM CDT

(Newser) – The parents and husband of a South Carolina nurse who died on a flight from Honolulu to Dallas have filed a wrongful death suit against American Airlines, reports ABC News. Brittany Oswell, 25, suffered a pulmonary embolism and cardiac arrest during the April 2016 flight, according to the lawsuit, per USA Today. The suit alleges that an onboard defibrillator and two blood pressure cuffs were faulty and that the plane should have made an emergency landing. About three hours into the trip, Oswell’s husband, Cory, paged flight attendants when Oswell complained of dizziness and then fainted. Flight attendants found a doctor onboard who examined Oswell. The doctor initially believed that Oswell had experienced a panic attack. A few hours later, Oswell’s condition worsened and the doctor recommended that the flight be diverted.

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But by that time, the flight was 90 minutes away from Dallas and the pilots elected to continue the flight. Later, Oswell stopped breathing and the doctor attempted to resuscitate her, but the plane’s lifesaving equipment was not functioning, the suit says. After landing in Dallas, Oswell was transported to Baylor Medical Center, but never regained consciousness. Three days later, she was taken off life support. "When Brittany got on the plane, she stepped into her coffin," Brad Cranshaw, the family’s lawyer, tells the State. "It's a tragedy." American Airlines, which has not yet answered the lawsuit, issued the following statement: "We take the safety of our passengers very seriously and we are looking into the details of the complaint." (Read more American Airlines stories.)

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