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Passenger claims in lawsuit that American Airlines flight attendant punched him in the face

Posted: 11:22 AM, Jan 16, 2019
Updated: 2019-01-16 12:23:07-05

A passenger on an American Airlines flight has filed a lawsuit that accuses a cabin attendant of extreme physical assault that he alleges caused a traumatic brain injury and severe headaches.

Gregory Lagana was a passenger on Flight 1798 from Charlotte to Philadelphia on Jan. 5, 2018, when the alleged assault took place.

The lawsuit, filed Friday in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, claims the flight attendant pinned Lagana’s right arm before repeatedly punching him in the face and also clubbing him on the back of the head, USA Today reports. 

The attack, Lagana claims, produced neurological, neurosurgical and chiropractic treatments at Princeton Medical Center in New Jersey. His suit alleges among his injuries included “scalp hematomas, abrasions, swelling, redness, bruising and defensive wounds” to his hand.

The lawsuit calls the injuries “serious and permanent” and claims that they are compounded by “mental and emotional” anguish. In his complaint, Lagana says his “injuries were caused by an unexpected or unusual event.”

Yahoo.com reports the incident began when an argument between Lagana and an American flight attendant over a drink order escalated into a full-blown flight, according to his attorney Edward P. Capozzi.

Lagana’s attorney claims that no alcohol was involved and that his client simply orders a Coke with ice. Instead, the attendant tried to give him an entire can of soda.

The argument continued before Lagana told the attendant to “just give me the f***ing ice.” Lagana apparently had been frustrated by several flights delays throughout his trip that day.

“The guy literally beat the crap out of him,” Capozzi told USA Today.

The lawsuit says Lagana “was not involved in any wrongdoing that jeopardized the safety of the aircraft.” The lawsuit holds that American Airlines is liable for about $160,000.

American Airlines spokesperson Matt Miller told Yahoo that the carrier is “reviewing the lawsuit and the details of the flight.”