WEATHER AUTHORITY : Heat Advisory - Flood Advisory View Alerts
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

American Airlines sued after bride returning from honeymoon has medical emergency on flight and later dies

Brittany and Corey Oswell were flying home from their Hawaiian honeymoon in 2016 when Brittany became dizzy and faint...

Posted: Apr 28, 2018 5:19 PM
Updated: Apr 28, 2018 5:19 PM

Brittany and Corey Oswell were flying home from their Hawaiian honeymoon in 2016 when Brittany became dizzy and fainted.

She came to soon after, but when she later collapsed in the plane's lavatory, a doctor on board who'd been helping her told the flight crew they needed to land quickly, to get her the proper medical treatment.

American Airlines Flight 102 was about an hour and a half from Dallas-Fort Worth, its destination. Despite the doctor's warning, the crew stayed the course while the doctor and flight attendants tried to treat Brittany, who was 25 years old at the time. She was taken to a hospital immediately upon landing, but died three days later.

Now her family is suing the airline for wrongful death.

Brad Cranshaw, the attorney for Brittany's husband and her parents, told CNN Friday the family's main objective isn't winning a financial settlement.

They want the airline to re-examine its policy and procedures so this won't happen to anyone else, he said.

"The family wants something (they) can't have, and that's Brittany back," Cranshaw said. "But we are interested in how American intends to speak to the issues that lead to the circumstance that took Brittany's life and the pilots' decision making."

An American Airlines representative said the company was "deeply saddened by this event and our thoughts and prayers continue to go out to Mrs. Oswell's loved ones.

"We take the safety of our passengers very seriously and we are looking into the details of the complaint," the airline said.

What went wrong?

Almost everything, it seems.

After Brittany became dizzy and passed out about three hours into the flight, the crew asked passengers if there was a doctor on board. A physician on the flight examined the young woman and determined she may have been suffering from a panic attack, the complaint for the lawsuit says. She regained consciousness and later talked to the crew, the complaint says.

Shortly after this episode, the suit says, she was found on the lavatory floor and had "vomited and defecated all over herself and the lavatory." Once again, the flight attendants summoned the doctor for help while they grabbed on-board medical supplies

After another examination, "the doctor directed the flight attendants to inform the flight crew that it needed to divert the plane from its scheduled arrival at Dallas-Fort Worth to the nearest airport, so Brittany could receive proper medical care," according to the complaint.

The flight captain had the doctor come to the flight deck and relay information about the situation to American Airlines' on-call physician, the lawsuit says.

"However, despite the first-hand observations of the seriousness of Brittany's conditions by the medical doctor who treated her and who had requested the flight diversion, the Plaintiffs are informed and believe that the captain elected to continue the flight to Dallas-Fort Worth airport after conferring with the physician on call. Upon information and belief, the flight was approximately ninety (90) minutes from landing at that time," the complaint reads.

Cranshaw said the flight was near Albuquerque, New Mexico, when the doctor told the crew it was necessary to land quickly so Brittany could get to a hospital.

"The question is, why was no landing attempted and why did American choose to continue going on?" the attorney asked.

Soon after the doctor left the cockpit to return to Brittany's aid, the 25-year-old's pulse and breathing stopped.

The doctor and flight attendants tried to use an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) on the young woman, but the machine indicated that no shock was administered, despite three attempts. She was given a dose of epinephrine from the plane's emergency medical kit and was also given cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) until the flight landed in Dallas, but she never regained consciousness, the lawsuit said.

Doctors at Baylor Medical Center diagnosed her with anoxic brain damage and an acute embolism. She died a few days later.

The complaint alleges that the airline's failure "to timely divert the flight and make an emergency landing denied Brittany the ability and opportunity to receive proper medical care in a timely manner, resulting in her death." It also says that American Airlines failed to provide working medical equipment and supplies to treat Brittany during the flight.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 333180

Reported Deaths: 7502
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22901279
Hinds22780438
Harrison19569326
Rankin14851287
Jackson14342251
Madison10692227
Lee10437179
Jones8746169
Forrest8210157
Lauderdale7561243
Lowndes6790150
Lamar669688
Lafayette6459124
Washington5516139
Pearl River4915149
Bolivar4909134
Oktibbeha478498
Panola4723112
Marshall4654106
Warren4640127
Pontotoc440473
Monroe4255137
Union425379
Neshoba4182180
Lincoln4098115
Hancock405088
Leflore3565125
Pike3530112
Tate349588
Alcorn343974
Sunflower343093
Adams333387
Scott331775
Yazoo331173
Simpson314890
Copiah313867
Itawamba310180
Coahoma308785
Tippah298868
Prentiss292963
Covington282483
Marion279580
Leake278475
Wayne270743
Grenada266388
George261651
Newton256664
Tishomingo236869
Winston235584
Jasper226148
Attala220873
Chickasaw216360
Stone210237
Holmes195674
Clay192254
Clarke182080
Tallahatchie181742
Calhoun177532
Smith175935
Yalobusha169440
Walthall141548
Lawrence137726
Greene135734
Amite132843
Noxubee131635
Perry131038
Montgomery130944
Carroll124531
Webster117532
Jefferson Davis113334
Tunica111127
Benton104625
Claiborne104331
Kemper100729
Humphreys99133
Franklin85923
Quitman83519
Choctaw81319
Wilkinson74632
Jefferson69728
Sharkey51518
Issaquena1696
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 570667

Reported Deaths: 11483
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson834821584
Mobile45819855
Madison36785532
Tuscaloosa26757465
Shelby26612255
Montgomery25739624
Baldwin23810325
Lee16801181
Calhoun15130332
Morgan14941289
Etowah14662368
Marshall12806235
Houston11515292
Elmore10654217
St. Clair10521251
Limestone10472158
Cullman10257204
Lauderdale9991253
DeKalb9298191
Talladega8739187
Walker7594286
Autauga7419113
Jackson7269117
Blount7184139
Colbert6583142
Coffee6045131
Dale5326117
Russell465842
Chilton4645117
Covington4579125
Franklin444381
Tallapoosa4379157
Escambia420082
Chambers3852125
Dallas3688163
Clarke364462
Marion3380106
Pike324879
Lawrence3192101
Winston291072
Bibb280165
Geneva271583
Marengo258567
Barbour243461
Pickens239162
Butler236172
Hale231878
Fayette224564
Henry205145
Randolph194944
Cherokee193948
Monroe192141
Washington177139
Macon167552
Crenshaw164458
Clay162559
Cleburne159145
Lamar149538
Lowndes144354
Wilcox129231
Bullock125642
Conecuh118130
Coosa116029
Perry109928
Sumter108032
Greene97836
Choctaw63825
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
80° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 77°
Feels Like: 85°
Columbus
Partly Cloudy
75° wxIcon
Hi: 94° Lo: 76°
Feels Like: 75°
Oxford
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 75°
Feels Like: 82°
Starkville
Partly Cloudy
75° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 75°
Feels Like: 75°
Tuesday more very hot and humid conditions will be the rule across our area. Some isolated to scattered showers and thunderstorms will be possible at times. A few heavy and hefty thunderstorms cannot be ruled out of the question at times.
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather