Cudahy Woman Walking Dog Latest to Sue Delta Air Lines Over Fuel Dump

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A Cudahy woman is the latest plaintiff to sue Delta Air Lines Inc. over fuel dumped by one of its jets as it was making an emergency return to Los Angeles International Airport in January.

Maria L. Rivera's Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit alleges battery, negligence, intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress, and strict liability for ultra-hazardous activities. The suit filed Tuesday seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.

A Delta representative previously said the pilots were forced to dump fuel over an urban area about 11:35 a.m. Jan 14 to reduce the plane's weight before the return landing.

The Delta Boeing 777 jet was en route to Shanghai, but soon after takeoff from Los Angeles International Airport for the 13-hour, 6,500-mile flight, the pilots of Flight 89 declared an emergency and shut down one of the jumbo jet's two engines because of a compressor stall.

Minutes later, the plane dumped roughly 15,000 gallons of aviation fuel at an altitude of about 2,000 feet over a wide area, including South Gate and Cudahy. The jet made a successful emergency landing at LAX.

Rivera was walking her dog in her Wilcox Avenue neighborhood near an elementary school when she suddenly felt liquid sprinkling on her hair, head and face that she at first thought was rain, according to her court papers.

She looked skyward and realized that the moisture smelled like “some type of gasoline'' and she also felt a burning sensation over her entire body, including her eyes, nose and hair, the suit states.

Rivera began to have blurred vision and her skin became irritated, according to the suit, which says she has suffered daily headaches since then.

Multiple other plaintiffs previously filed lawsuits against Delta over the fuel dump.

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