Social worker suing American Airlines for violating her civil rights.
An African American social worker is suing American Airlines, alleging airline employees suspected her of kidnapping a white toddler whom she was accompanying during a flight last year.
Shannon Murphy, a social worker with Riverside County, California was accompanying the blonde-haired child on a flight from Fort Worth, Texas to Ontario International Airport.
According to the lawsuit, prior to take off another passenger on the plane told a flight attendant that Ms. Murphy was holding a kidnap victim.
Airline staff reportedly separated Murphy from the child out of suspicion that she was abducting the boy.
Despite Murphy carrying her social worker ID, the boy’s birth certificate and a court order, she was removed from the aircraft and detained for about an hour before being allowed to re-board the plane.
“Had American Airline(s) (researched the matter) first prior to hauling Plaintiff, Ms. Murphy, off the plane and detaining her and the one-year-old Caucasian male dependent, Ms. Murphy would not have suffered the mental, physical and psychological harm flight personnel inflicted upon her,” the lawsuit alleges.
Murphy has had to seek help from a psychologist, after suffering from nightmares and insomnia as a result of the accident, the lawsuit reads.
The suit seeks unspecified damages, as well as compensation for both past and future medical expenses.
American Airlines released a statement and said that they are investigating the incident.
“We are reviewing the lawsuit and the details of the flight. We take the safety and comfort of our customers very seriously and we’re committed to providing a positive experience for everyone who travels with us,” the statement read.