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Delta Air Lines

Delta Faces Lawsuit for Needle Prick

Delta Faces Lawsuit for Needle Prick
Joe Cortez

Flyer claims needle in seat-back pocket resulted in HIV tests and preventative medication.

A former Delta Air Lines flyer is taking the carrier to court, claiming that their negligence caused him to suffer “months of dizziness, headaches,” and “body aches” due to a preventative medication regimen. TMZ reports the flyer is suing for damages on allegations he was stabbed by a needle during a flight.

According to documents obtained by TMZ, the flyer claims that he was aboard a Delta aircraft between Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) when the alleged event took place. In his account, the flyer says he reached into the seat-back pocket in front of him to pick up his wallet, but was stabbed by a needle instead.

In court documents, the flyer said that his life “flashed before his eyes” after the alleged stabbing and his finger continued to bleed when pulling the needle out. After the flight, he sought the advice of a doctor, who prescribed him medications to prevent blood-borne infections. In addition, he was subject to several medical tests, including those that detect HIV.

During that time, the flyer says that he suffered from a number of physical ailments as a result of the treatment, which included the body aches and dizziness. He also claimed that he was “unable to perform duties as a husband” during the treatment.

In a statement to TMZ, a Delta spokesperson did not address the lawsuit. However, the carrier did say that they were “dismayed” by the customer’s allegations, going on to say that the “security of our customers and employees is always Delta’s top priority.”

The seat-back pocket is historically known as the germiest spot on the airplane due to its convenience as a disposal site. In 2016, a Drexel Medicine study rated the seat-back pocket and the tray table as the most disgusting places aboard a commercial aircraft.

[Photo: Shutterstock]

View Comments (4)


  1. AlwaysFlyStar

    June 15, 2017 at 5:14 am

    ‘In court documents, the flyer said that his life “flashed before his eyes” after the alleged stabbing and his finger continued to bleed when pulling the needle out.’


    US should adopt the type of court system that forces the loser to pay court fees to prevent these ridiculous lawsuits.

  2. localady

    June 15, 2017 at 11:24 am

    Oh my… his life flashed before him when he got a needle stuck in his finger… Give me a break. How long ago did this happen? Did he call an attendant and report it??? If so, what did they do on the scene? How long after this incident did he file the suit?

    Sounds like either a frivolous lawsuit or a drama queen to me.

  3. FlyingNone

    June 15, 2017 at 11:50 am

    Not ridiculous…….why wasn’t the seat back pocket cleaned out between flights ? Why have airplane cleaners if they don’t clean properly ?

  4. jetsfan92588

    June 16, 2017 at 9:57 am

    Also, for those unaware, a long time ago there was this hysteria that people with HIV were “infecting” needles with their blood and putting them in places so that others would prick themselves and thus become infected. I don’t know if there was ever a case where that actually happened, but people were nervous about it for a while. Perhaps that’s why this pax was so afraid?

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