New Haven Woman Sues JetBlue Over Allergic Reaction on Flight

A New Haven woman has filed a lawsuit against JetBlue alleging that the airline refused to accommodate a life-threatening allergy and put her on a flight with two dogs, triggering an allergic reaction that required hospitalization.

In a lawsuit filed, Annemarie Rivera claims she booked a flight on JetBlue from JFK Airport in New York to LAX in California to leave August 5, 2016 and return August 9, 2016. Rivera claims that when she booked the flight she spoke over the phone with a JetBlue representative and explained that she has a life-threatening allergy to fur-bearing animals.

The suit states that at the time of booking, Rivera was assured she would receive medical accommodations and disability seating, and she confirmed it through the JetBlue app.

According to the documents, when she arrived at JFK for her flight she was told there was no record of any medical accommodations and the only seat available was First Class, which meant she would have to pay for an upgrade or wait to see if a seat would become available. Rivera was eventually placed in a center seat, which did not fit her medical request.

The suit goes on to say that on August 9, 2016, when Rivera arrived at LAX to fly home, she was again told that no seat had been assigned for her and she would have to pay a $90 fee for an upgrade. She paid the fee, but was not granted disability seating or early boarding because she was not in a wheelchair or leg brace, the suit says.

During the flight Rivera began having an allergic reaction, according to the lawsuit, but was ignored when she requested assistance. The reaction, the lawsuit says, was caused by two dogs that were in the seat directly in front of Rivera. The suit claims that when Rivera arrived in New Haven, she was so sick she had to be hospitalized.

The lawsuit states that Rivera was assured there would be no animals on the flight before boarding.

NBC Connecticut’s sister station NBC New York reached out to JetBlue for comment, but was told the company would not comment on pending litigation.

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