TORRANCE, Calif. - American Airlines responded to a lawsuit filed by social media travel influencer Angelica Jensen, who alleged "emotional devastation" by the behavior of a drunk female passenger who shared her January flight from Los Angeles to Las Vegas.
Attorneys for American Airlines said that the "perils or dangers" Jensen allegedly experienced were incidents of "assumed risk" while flying, in court papers filed Wednesday, August 9. The airline's lawyers also added that punitive damages are "not available."
The lawsuit alleged assault, battery, negligence and both intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
According to the suit filed on July 6, Jensen and a female friend boarded their first-class seats when the suspected disorderly passenger, identified only as Jane Doe in court documents, sat in the row behind them. Jensen and her friend immediately noticed that Doe was "under the influence of alcohol and/or other substances," according to reports.
The short flight was delayed approximately two hours due to mechanical issues, during which time flight attendants continued to serve Doe alcohol despite "obvious intoxication," the suit alleged.
During this delay, Doe allegedly began stroking Jensen's friend's arms and hair. A flight attendant saw the incident and responded "Oh, hell no," before walking away, Jensen said in the suit.
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When the flight prepared for takeoff, Doe allegedly began dancing in the aisles. During departure, Doe, who, according to the suit, is significantly larger than Jensen, allegedly sat in Jenson's lap and groped her,
While the flight crew did not aid Jensen despite her pleas for assistance, the suit stated that one flight attendant told Jensen that she regretted not removing Doe from the flight before takeoff and advised Jensen to file a police report.
Since the incident, Jensen attends regular counseling sessions to manage the panic attacks and mental trauma brought on by the experience, she alleged in the suit.
Jensen is a social media influencer on both Instagram and TikTok, where she specializes in travel content. As a result of her experience, Jensen said in the suit that she "no longer feels safe traveling on commercial airlines," even just to visit family. She alleged this incident stifled her profession as a travel influencer.