Southwest Flight Attendant Sues Employer for Husband's Wrongful Death

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Southwest Flight Attendant Sues Employer For Husband’s Wrongful Death

ORANGE COUNTY, Ca., April 20, 2015 – An Orange County woman is suing Southwest Airlines after her husband, financial trader and CNBC “Futures Now” contributor Richard Ilczyszyn died following an onboard medical emergency on a flight from Oakland Airport to John Wayne Airport.

Attorneys representing the widow, Kelly Ilczyszyn filed a wrongful death lawsuit today in Alameda County Superior Court. The lawsuit accuses the Oakland-based Southwest flight crew of negligence after failing to respond appropriately and in a timely manner to Ilczyszyn’s medical condition on September 19, 2014.

According to the complaint, shortly before landing, Richard went to the restroom at the rear of the aircraft. The flight attendants told authorities later they heard sounds of moaning and crying. Looking through a crack of the bathroom door, one of the attendants saw Richard slumped over. The flight attendants notified the pilot but rather than follow airline procedures and alert medics, the crew treated this as a police matter assuming Richard was intoxicated.

When the plane finally landed, instead of asking for paramedics, Southwest personnel asked for law enforcement to respond. Based on Southwest’s representation that Richard was a disturbance, sheriff’s deputies decided to deplane the passengers before addressing Richard’s situation.

After approximately 30 minutes following the deplaning process, deputies opened the lavatory door and Richard fell out unconscious. Richard had gone without oxygen for at least 30 minutes. The 46-year old died 17 hours later at Hoag Memorial hospital while on life support.

Kelly Ilczyszyn, who has worked as a flight attendant for Southwest Airlines for 16 years is heartbroken and horrified by what happened. “I feel let down by my work family. They dropped the ball. This crew made horrible decisions and came to conclusions that weren’t based on accurate assessments,” said Kelly Ilczyszyn.

“The Southwest flight crew failed to follow proper procedures, they didn’t follow basic human instinct,” said attorney Browne Greene. “Flight attendants are not taught to recognize pulmonary embolisms which is a serious lapse in training,” said Greene.

Browne Greene of Greene Broillet & Wheeler LLP and Daniel K. Balaban and Andrew J. Spielberger with the law firm of Balaban & Spielberger represent Kelly Ilczyszyn and Richard’s three children, Sydney Ilczyszyn, Logan Ilczyszyn and Hannah Ilczyszyn.



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