Alaska Airways is paying $ 3.2 million to resolve a false loss of life lawsuit

A jury recently ruled in favor of a family who sued Alaska Airlines after their family member fell on an escalator and died from their injuries.

Back in June 2017, a woman fell on an escalator at Portland International Airport and died of her injuries four months later. As a result, the woman’s family filed an unlawful death lawsuit, and a jury just returned a judgment against Alaska Airlines for $ 3,189,672. The original lawsuit was filed in December 2017 for neglect. Before the jury’s verdict, the airline tried to dismiss the lawsuit, but a U.S. district judge decided against the application.

Close-up photo of person’s feet while sitting in a wheelchair; Image by Stevepb via

The woman was Bernice Kekona, a woman from Spokane, Washington. In June 2017, the 75-year-old traveled “with a plane transfer in Portland from Hawaii to Spokane”. Kekona was “disabled with an amputated leg and other health problems” and was in a wheelchair at the time of the accident. When she and her family were at Portland Airport, she “tried to get to the gate for her connecting flight and fell onto an escalator.” During the fall, she suffered serious injuries that resulted in her death.

According to the lawsuit, Kekona’s family had “requested gate-to-gate service for her mother who needed wheelchair assistance.” While gate agents “met Kekona when she was departing Portland and giving her a wheelchair ride to the top of the Sky Bridge … she was left alone and confused, causing her to fall down an escalator in her wheelchair,” the suit reads . The surveillance video recorded the entire incident.

Following the incident, Kekona was assisted by rescue workers and taken to a Portland hospital for treatment. Later, in September 2017, “she entered a Spokane Hospital to treat a leg wound that her lawyers believed was caused by the first fall at the Portland airport.” She died two weeks later.

Commenting on the tragic incident, Darlene Bloyed said, “Your mother would still be here if the gate agents did their job.” She added that she “called Alaska Airlines several times to make sure her mother was getting the help she needed.” She said:

“She would have been here today if she had done her job. I asked about this service five times and there was a communication breakdown. “

Commenting on the recent verdict, Bloyed added that she is glad that her family can be closed because the past few years have been tough for her and her family.

According to federal law, airlines are obliged to support disabled passengers on the transit route. When asked about the Kekona incident, Alaska Airlines confirmed that “Kekona received first aid but said it refused additional assistance while navigating Portland Airport.”


The jury pronounces a $ 3.2 million judgment against Alaska Airlines in an unlawful death lawsuit

Alaska Airlines is solving an unlawful death lawsuit

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