Washington: A grieving mother has sued American Airlines for USD 10 million, alleging that she was forced to check in her carry-on luggage containing her daughter’s ashes which the airline then misplaced. Iddy Pierre-Canel has filed a lawsuit against American Airlines claiming that she was forced to check in her carry-on bag on a flight from Baltimore to Tucson, Arizona, with her dead daughter’s ashes inside, which was then lost, NBC- affiliate KPNX-TV reported.
Pierre-Canel said her daughter, Carm-Idrelle Casseus, died 28-years-old after a battle with unspecified medical problems. Pierre-Canel said an American Airlines employee insisted twice that she check in her bag while waiting at the gate on March 5, 2016.
She was quoted as saying that she made it clear she was carrying her daughter’s ashes and wanted to keep them close. “When the plane took off, that’s when I realised I didn’t have my bag. They said, ‘Oh, they checked your bag in,’” she said.
Pierre-Canel said she remembers an employee picking her bags up, but she said she was under the impression they were helping her take the bags to her seat since she was distraught. Her attorney Lorraine Morey said her client was promised her bags would be the first off the plane. However, when she arrived to Tucson, her bag was nowhere to be found.
American Airlines released a statement regarding the incident, saying, “When we need customers to gate check a bag, we always ask for customers to remove all valuables and important documents. Had we known there were cremated ashes in the bag, we would have had her remove them or found a place for the bag.” “We apologised for losing the items and certainly are very sorry for her terrible loss. A spokesperson for the airline also said Pierre-Canel created an itemised list of what was in that bag,” the statement said.
There was an estimated USD 24,000 worth of belongings in the suitcase, but no urn was mentioned on that list. Morey said that was simple because there was no way to assign a dollar value to her daughter’s remains. The airline returned Pierre-Canel’s suitcase 19 days after losing it, but the ashes were not inside.
“I went through it. I was screaming. I was hurt. I wanted to die, because I felt that I failed my child,” she said. The lawsuit, filed on March 17 of this year is for USD 10 million, the report said. Just last week, American Airlines was hit with another passenger lawsuit. Australian Michael Anthony Taylor filed a lawsuit seeking 100,000 dollars in damages, claiming he was crushed by two overweight passengers on either side of him on the flight.