Due to high flight costs and the prevalence of add-on fees, many travelers are feeling burned by the airline industry.
But, according to a lawsuit filed in Davidson County Circuit Court on Tuesday, a woman was literally burned by Southwest Airlines.
Angelica Keller, of Smyrna, is suing the airline after she spilled hot tea on her lap and suffered second-degree burns. According to the suit, Keller was traveling from Nashville to Houston when she ordered hot tea.
She was seated on the first row of the plane, so she didn’t have a drop-down table, or any other flat surface, available to her. Keller claims the tea bag was wedged between two cups and when she tried to extricate it, the water spilled on her lap.
She had her seat belt on, so the hot water spread around the seat before she could unbuckle and stand up. According to the suit, her skin was peeling even though she was fully clothed. She also suffered permanent scarring.
The lawsuit claims Southwest failed “to warn [her]... of any potential danger involved in the delivery of hot tea during a flight” in a bulkhead seat. The suit also accuses Southwest of allowing the water to be too hot for a flight, which can be subject to turbulence.
The suit asks for $300,000 in compensatory damages and $500,000 in punitive damages.
Keller’s attorney, Robert Anderson, declined to comment. Southwest didn’t return a request for comment as of Tuesday afternoon.