Less than five days after being kicked off a flight, due to being told they have an offensive body odor, an Orthodox Jewish couple has filed a federal lawsuit against American Airlines alleging discrimination.
Yehuda Yosef Adler and his wife Jennie Adler sued American Airlines on Jan. 28, seeking punitive damages for civil rights violations, negligence, infliction of emotional distress and defamation, according to Courthouse News.
The Adlers say they were on the flight from Miami to Detroit on Jan. 23 sitting at the gate with their 19-month-old daughter when an American Airlines representative told them there was an emergency and they must deplane.
They were then told by the captain their body odor was offensive to other passengers.
The couple says they told the gate agent they had showered that morning and had never received any complaints about their hygiene on airplanes.
According to the complaint, “In response, defendant’s agent made disparaging and derogatory statements telling the Adlers that he knew that Orthodox Jews take baths once a week.”
The couple says the airline defamed them with false statements to the press that several passengers and crew members had complained that they smelled.
The Adlers, who began filming the encounter after they were told to leave, asked several other passengers if they smelled and each passenger said ‘no.’
American Airlines did not comment on pending litigation but a spokesman told the Miami Herald at the time of the incident that “Our Miami airport team members were concerned about the comfort of our other passengers due to the odor.”
American said it paid for a hotel room for the family and then put them on a flight to Detroit the next day.
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