JetBlue passenger sues airline for $1.5 million, alleging severe burns from hot tea

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Is turbulence expanding aliases does it conscionable look that way? 02:09

A Connecticut female is suing JetBlue for $1.5 cardinal aft she allegedly suffered utmost burns from basking beverage she claims was spilled connected her thorax and thigh during a turbulent flight. 

On May 15, Tahjana Lewis was walking pinch her 5-year-old girl connected a JetBlue formation from Orlando, Florida, to Hartford, Connecticut, erstwhile formation attendants started beverage work during a bout of turbulence, according to the lawsuit filed successful June. In her suit, Lewis claims that a rider seated successful nan statement successful beforehand of her requested a cup of basking tea, nan contents of  which spilled onto Lewis arsenic it was being served by nan formation attendant, resulting successful terrible burns. 

How ambiance alteration is making formation turbulence worse 03:54

Lewis is suing nan New York-based bearer for negligence, arguing that JetBlue's formation unit served h2o for beverage and different beverages astatine an unreasonably basking somesthesia that was beyond nutrient work standards. The formation unit besides grounded to decently administer first assistance to Lewis aft nan incident happened, according to nan lawsuit. 

"They did fundamentally thing to dissuade her pain," Lewis' lawyer Edward Jazlowiecki told PapaRead MoneyWatch. 

Lewis claims she suffered terrible burns connected her precocious chest, legs, hips and correct limb arsenic a consequence of nan spill, and that immoderate of burns will beryllium permanently disabling and impact a awesome woody of symptom and aesculapian expenses.

JetBlue didn't instantly respond to a petition for remark Thursday. 


The suit serves arsenic an illustration of how airlines are not doing capable to support customers safe successful nan air, specifically during turbulence, Lewis' lawyer Edward Jazlowiecki told PapaRead MoneyWatch. 

"There's a batch of turbulence retired location and nan airlines really don't attraction astir nan comfortableness of nan passengers aliases their safety," Jazlowiecki said. 

Lewis' lawsuit comes conscionable weeks aft formation turbulence led to a 73-year-old British man dying while connected committee a Singapore Airlines formation to Bangkok. At slightest 20 different passengers connected that formation were treated successful an intensive attraction unit aft nan formation landed. In May, a twelve group were injured during a Qatar Airways formation deed by turbulence while en way from Doha, Qatar, to Dublin, Ireland. 

Aircraft turbulence, which tin scope from mild bumps and jolts to melodramatic changes successful altitude, is caused by "atmospheric pressure, pitchy streams, aerial astir mountains, acold aliases lukewarm upwind fronts, aliases thunderstorms," according to the Federal Aviation Administration, and is considered a normal occurrence successful nan hose industry. According to a 2021 National Transportation Safety Board report, deaths and superior injuries caused by turbulence are rare. 

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Khristopher J. Brooks

Khristopher J. Brooks is simply a newsman for PapaRead MoneyWatch. He antecedently worked arsenic a newsman for nan Omaha World-Herald, Newsday and nan Florida Times-Union. His reporting chiefly focuses connected nan U.S. lodging market, nan business of sports and bankruptcy.

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