Child spills hot chocolate during Southwest flight, mother sues airline

David Yates Oct. 13, 2011, 4:54am

A Port Arthur woman is suing Southwest Airlines, claiming it is the company's fault her son spilled hot chocolate on himself during a flight last August.

Indria Rice, acting as next of friend of Jaylon Jackson, filed suit against Southwest on Oct. 11 in Jefferson County District Court.

According to the lawsuit, on Aug. 20, 2010, Jackson was traveling to Houston on Southwest Airlines Flight 322 when he spilled a cup of hot chocolate on himself, allegedly resulting in a second-degree burn to his chest.

The suit does not state if the minor child was accompanied.

The suit also fails to list a single act of the negligence and only asserts that Southwest owed Jackson a "duty, which was breached, causing minor plaintiff Jaylon Jackson injury."

The plaintiffs are seeking personal injury damages.

Beaumont attorney Kent Johns of Johns & Johns represents them.

Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd District Court, is assigned to the case.

In another suit which garnered national media attention last week, a Lubbock woman sued Continental Airlines and three other carriers claiming a turbulent flight left her with post-traumatic stress disorder.

According to an article in the Houston Chronicle, Colleen O'Neal filed her suit Oct. 11 in Harris County District Court. United Airlines, Colgan Air and Pinnacle Airlines are also named as defendants.

Nearly two years ago, O'Neal took a two-hour flight from College Station to Houston on Oct. 29, 2009. Tornados and thunderstorms were allegedly reported in the region, causing the plane to experience turbulence.

The article states that O'Neal thought she was going to die on the flight and now suffers from PTSD – a condition which is preventing her from working for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, a job that would require air travel.

O'Neal is suing for her alleged loss of economic benefits and mental anguish, plus all medical expenses and court costs.

Case No. E191-165

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