When Every Second Counts! A Mother’s Fight for Answers After Tragedy Strikes Mid-flight

WHEN EVERY SECOND COUNT! A Mother’s Fight for Answers After Tragedy Strikes Mid-flight

A mother has filed a lawsuit against American Airlines for the death of her 14-year-old son.

According to the lawsuit, filed on May 13 and reviewed by PEOPLE, Kevin Greenidge and his family were traveling home from Honduras to New York on June 4, 2022, aboard AA Flight 614. Kevin had a medical incident on the aircraft and became unconscious.

Kevin was pronounced deceased at a nearby hospital after the plane made an emergency landing in Mexico.

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His mother claims that flight attendants did not respond soon enough to his medical emergency and were “unable to properly operate” the automated external defibrillator (AED) on board, or that the unit itself was defective.

“Our thoughts are with Mr. Greenidge’s loved ones,” an American Airlines spokesman said in a statement to PEOPLE on Monday, May 20, adding, “We decline further comment given this matter involves pending litigation.” Kevin’s family quickly began phoning for help when he experienced a medical emergency. However, the complaint states that “American Airlines’ flight personnel delayed in responding to their cries for help and failed to render effective assistance.”

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When doctors “eventually” tried to use the defibrillator to resuscitate him, the lawsuit claims that problems persisted.

“According to eyewitnesses, every time the AED issued a ‘clear’ warning for people to back away from Greenidge’s body so that a shock could be administered, no shock was delivered. Instead, the machine simply advised that CPR be maintained,” the claim stated. The complaint claims that airline records demonstrate that the personnel was not trained to use the specific type of AED unit. It also stated that the airline emergency medical equipment on the flight was unlabeled.

“Had AA Flight 614 been properly equipped with the necessary and functional medical equipment, had American Airlines properly trained its airline personnel for in-flight medical events, and had airline personnel timely responded to Greenidge’s medical emergency and effectively implemented the skills learned in their training, Greenidge would not have experienced the intense physical and emotional pain he suffered on AA Flight 614,” the complaint stated.

Greenidge’s family also claimed that their legal counsel had made many attempts to view the AED machine before submitting their case.

“Based on conversations with American Airlines’ counsel and the airline’s refusal to permit inspection of the AED machine, it appears the AED machine has either been destroyed or put back into service and ‘lost,'” the complaint stated. In a statement, the boy’s mother stated that following his death, she “never heard from American Airlines.”

“It made me feel hopeless,” Melissa Arzu explained. “I need answers from American Airlines. I want American Airlines to fully accept responsibility for Kevin’s death. I never want to see a child or family go through this again.” “The loss of a child is truly unimaginable, and the facts of this case are horrendous,” said Arzu’s attorney, Hannah Crowe.

“Multiple eyewitnesses confirm that American Airlines flight personnel were slow to respond and not able to operate the AED machine, which appeared not to work.” The complaint was initially filed in New York last year but was moved to Fort Worth, where American Airlines is headquartered.

Texas juries are difficult but fair. “Our jury is going to hear what happened to Kevin,” Crowe said. “They are going to hear the facts of this case, and they are going to be shocked that American Airlines would put its passengers, especially children, in this kind of danger.”

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