Passenger says airline failed to give assistance after heart attack during flight

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Mar. 14, 2013, 12:50pm

HOUSTON - Alleging he suffered a heart attack while flying to Houston from Vancouver, Canada, and was refused immediate medical assistance, Thomas J. Bintz pursues legal action. 

Bintz and his wife filed suit against Continental Airlines Inc., United Continental Holdings Inc. and Medaire Inc. last month in Harris County District Court.

The litigation was transferred to the Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas on March 1.

Recent court documents show that Bintz was a passenger aboard a Continental Airlines flight on April 1, 2011.

After the plane departed Vancouver International Airport, the plaintiff began to suffer "severe epigastric pain" and appeared pale, the suit says.

It states that pain radiated across the plaintiff's chest for almost 10 minutes, and a nurse on the flight provided him aspirin to no avail.

According to the original petition, Bintz was administered oxygen, nitroglycerine, Maalox and lidocaine liquid while the airline communicated with MedAire via MedLink.

The nurse's attempts to have the aircraft diverted were futile because MedAire purportedly informed Continental an unscheduled landing was unnecessary since the plaintiff was supposedly in stable condition, the suit says.

Several hours later, the subject flight arrived at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston.

The suit asserts Bintz's heart attack was confirmed and he was rushed to the hospital, claiming he suffered "severe and permanent damage to his heart."

A jury trial is requested.

Attorney Seth E. Breen of Howry Breen & Herman LLP in Houston is representing the complainant.

Case No. 4:13-CV-566

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