A Delta flight Marlin Jackson took in June 2017 from Atlanta to San Diego ended up being a horrific one, he claims—and now he's suing the airline and another passenger for negligence after an animal attack he says caused him "severe physical pain and suffering," as well as mental anguish. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the mauling Jackson suffered came from an emotional support dog brought on the plane by Marine Ronald Kevin Mundy Jr., who was said to have been sitting in the middle seat in his row holding his dog—described in a police report as a "chocolate lab pointer mix"—while Jackson took up the window seat. The suit says Jackson was putting on his seatbelt when the dog suddenly growled, then bit him a few times before Mundy pulled him back; a second lunging resulted in Jackson's face getting mauled, per the suit.
Jackson suffered lacerations and puncture wounds so severe and "bled so profusely that the entire row of seats had to be removed from the airplane," his suit alleges, adding he needed 28 stitches (see some of the pictures here). The suit claims the dog shouldn't have been on Mundy's lap, per Delta policy, the Washington Post reports. Jackson's "entire lifestyle has been severely impaired by this attack," his complaint states, alleging emotional distress, loss of income, and a hefty medical tab in addition to his physical injuries. Delta shared a statement with Fox News, noting it has since updated its emotional support animal policy to require a "confirmation of animal training" form and other paperwork, and to also ban pit bulls and animals under 4 months old as service or support companions. "These policy updates reinforce Delta's core value of putting safety first, always," the statement notes. (Read more Delta Air Lines stories.)