A family is suing Delta Air Lines after a 13-year-old girl was sexually assaulted when she was separated from her parents on board


  • A 13-year-old girl was sexually assaulted on a Delta Air Lines flight in 2022.

  • Passenger Brian Patrick Durning was sentenced to five years in prison in late September.

  • A lawsuit filed last Monday says Delta didn’t restrain him and allowed him to roam around the cabin.

Delta Air Lines is being sued by the family of a 13-year-old girl who was sexually assaulted on a flight.

The complaint, which Business Insider has seen, was filed in a California district court last Monday.

Brian Patrick Durning was sentenced to five years in prison last September after he was found guilty on three counts related to the 2022 incident.

The family’s lawsuit accuses Delta of gross negligence. It says the airline “enabled” the assault by allowing a “visibly intoxicated” Durning to board the flight and continuing to serve him alcohol throughout.

During the red-eye flight from Los Angeles to Orlando, the victim, known as ZB, was seated separate from her family, in a middle seat two rows behind them, the suit says.

It adds that she has selective mutism, which made her unable to call for help during the assault.

The assault took place while the lights were dimmed and most passengers were sleeping. When a woman sat on the other side of ZB woke up, she told Durning to stop and alerted a flight attendant, the complaint says.

It alleges that the cabin crew did not restrain Durning but moved him to an aisle seat two rows ahead, from where he “continued to harass” the girl.

The complaint adds that Durning roamed around the cabin and grabbed his genitals while looking at the plaintiffs.

“After the flight landed, Delta did not restrain Durning or arrange for law enforcement to escort him off the plane,” the lawsuit says.

The girl, now aged 16, suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and has recurring nightmares about the incident, it adds.

Delta Air Lines did not immediately respond to a request for comment sent by BI outside US working hours.

Read the original article on Business Insider



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