Widower Sues Airline After Wife Denied Entry on 3 Flights Died

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By Myles Collier, Christian Post Contributor
January 29, 2013|9:23 am

A man whose severely obese wife died after she was denied a seat on three separate flights is suing the three airlines for wrongful death and gross negligence.

Janos Soltesz is seeking $6 million in damages after his wife, Vilma Soltesz, was found dead at her vacation home in Hungary in October, according to the lawsuit filed in Manhattan.

She was denied accommodations on three separate aircrafts by three different airlines after the couple was assured that the proper arrangements would be taken care of.

At the time of her death, Soltesz's wife was reportedly 425 pounds and was battling diabetes as well as kidney disease. She previously had a leg amputated which required the use of a wheelchair to get around.

The lawsuit states that the pair left their home in the New York and left for a vacation in Budapest in September aboard a Delta Airlines flight. Soltesz purchased two seats for his wife and one for himself, and there was no reported trouble.

Soon after arriving in Budapest, Vilma Soltesz was taken to a hospital in Hungary after she fell ill. She was told by a doctor to fly home to New York to seek additional treatment.

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The couple was scheduled to head back to the United States two weeks later on a KLM Royal Dutch Airlines flight, but according to the lawsuit, they were told to disembark after his wife had trouble transferring from her wheelchair to the seat.

After speaking to airline representatives they were told they could catch a Delta flight out of Prague. The couple drove to the airport, but was told by Delta employees that they did not have the proper wheelchair to transport Vilma Soltesz to the aircraft.

"The Delta flight coordinator told Janos and Vilma that Delta 'did not have access to a skylift' to get Vilma onto the aircraft from the rear, and that there was nothing more Delta could do for them," the lawsuit stated.

The desperate couple tried one last time on Oct. 22 with the help of emergency personnel, who tried to load his wife onto a Lufthansa aircraft through the back. Once again, they were told to disembark the plane after the pilot decided the plane could not be delayed further.

The couple, seemingly out of options, returned home to Veszprem, Hungary and on Oct. 24 Vilma Soltesz was found dead by her husband.

None of the three airlines mentioned in the suit have commented on the pending litigation or issued a statement addressing the matter.

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