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Lawsuit: Injuries from plane’s aborted landing ruin N.C. family’s ‘last big vacation’
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Lawsuit: Injuries from plane’s aborted landing ruin N.C. family’s ‘last big vacation’

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A North Carolina family had planned a “once-in-a-lifetime” vacation to Las Vegas, Hawaii and Los Angeles in what they expected to be their “last big vacation” together.

But their plans went sideways when their American Airlines flight attempted to land in Las Vegas, according to a lawsuit filed July 6 in Mecklenburg County Superior Court. The four family members are now suing the airline for more than $100,000. The lawsuit alleges that the turbulent landing forced them to seek medical help and cancel much of their trip.

Roger Brunton and Dawn Rippy-Brunton of Cleveland County took off from Charlotte Douglas International Airport on June 5, 2019, for a trip with her parents, Diane and Harold Lee Rippy Jr., who live in Gaston County. They expected this to be their last major trip together because of the Rippys’ age, according to the lawsuit.

The family and their attorney, Matthew Myers of Charlotte, declined to comment on the lawsuit.

William Starr of Charlotte, an attorney for American Airlines, did not respond to the Observer’s requests for comment.

Instead of lightly landing on the Las Vegas runway, the plane ricocheted off the tarmac and careened back into the air, the family alleges in its lawsuit.

“The aircraft then suddenly and violently rolled to the left, rolled back to the right, and started to roll left again before aborting the landing and climbing back into the sky,” the family recounted in the lawsuit.

The two couples had seat belts fastened at the time, but the plane’s violent movements hurled them around the cabin, causing the injuries, according to the lawsuit.

The aircraft ultimately made a safe landing, at which point the four family members sought medical care. The family was forced to cancel many of their planned activities because of their injuries, according to the lawsuit.

None of their injuries are detailed in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit alleges negligence on the part of American Airlines and demands more than $25,000 for the “pain and suffering” each of the four endured. It also accuses the pilots of acting recklessly and being seduced by a “’get there at all costs’ mentality.”

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