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North Carolina Couple Encounters “Flying” Cockroaches

Cockroaches on a plane.jpgAccording to a recent article in the Abilene Reporter-News, a Charlotte, North Carolina couple has filed suit against AirTran Airways after they experienced the most disgusting flight of their lives. Attorney Harry Marsh and fiancĂ©e Kaitlin Rush were passengers on a September 15th flight from Charlotte, North Carolina to Houston, Texas, with a short layover in Atlanta, Georgia when they noticed cockroaches creeping and crawling throughout the plane’s cabin.

The couple filed suit on November 10, 2011, in the North Carolina Western District Court in the Charlotte Office after they noticed the creatures crawling out of the vents and in and around the overhead compartments. The Presiding Judge to hear the case will be Graham Mullen and the plaintiffs have requested a jury trial.

Marsh and Rush claim that they took pictures of the creepy crawlies and reported their presence to the flight attendants. The suit claims that other passengers noticed the bugs, which caused those passengers to become upset. The couple said that they were ignored by the flight staff and even alleged that one of the flight attendants put her fingers in her ears when the couple tried to report the problem.

Marsh and Rush were forced to discard some of their clothing and wash others and their luggage for fear that the cockroaches had made their new home in their belongings. AirTran Airways denies the allegations, claiming that the corporation makes it a priority to keep its planes clean and safe for passengers. AirTran also alleges that it regularly cleans and inspects all aircraft for bugs and other pests.

The lawsuit argues that the airline is liable for negligence and recklessness, plus intentional infliction of emotional distress, fraud, false imprisonment, and unfair and deceptive trade practices. Marsh and Rush are seeking in excess of $100,000 in damages in addition to the cost of their airline tickets. To succeed on their negligence claim, Marsh and Rush will have to demonstrate that the airline owed a duty to their passengers to keep them in a safe and comfortable environment and that the airline breached that duty when it allowed the cabin of the airplane to be infested with cockroaches. The couple also has to prove that they have suffered some damages and that the airline’s breach of duty was the cause of those damages. If Marsh and Rush can prove their negligence claim, they will be entitled to compensatory damages, possibly even punitive damages if it can be demonstrated that the negligence on the part of the airline was gross negligence.

Though the cockroaches were plenty harrowing for the married couple, they could have faced ever worse. In recent years passengers have had to contend with pythons on planes, mice falling from overhead bins, scorpions on the loose and even an escaped cheetah in the cargo bay. Everyday cockroaches may seem positively boring when compared to such excitement.


Thank you for visiting Charlotte Injury Lawyers Blog. If you encounter such indignities while airborne, whether insect, animal or human, you need capable attorneys to fight for your rights. The skilled attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are more than ready for such a challenge. If you or someone you know find yourself having to take on a major corporation, please do not hesitate to call (704) 370-2828 for a free consultation.

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