Handicapped woman sues Philadelphia International Airport over escalator mishap

By Jon Campisi | May 23, 2011

A handicapped woman who injured herself after falling on an escalator at Philadelphia International Airport is suing the airport and others, alleging negligence.

Attorney Michael P. Lalli of the Philadelphia law firm Fodera, Long & Lalli, P.C., filed the personal injury lawsuit May 18 at the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas on behalf of North Carolina resident Lovetta J. Dixon.

According to the complaint, Dixon, who is physically and mentally handicapped, fell backwards on an escalator because her shoes had been put on the wrong feet by an airport security agent who had the plaintiff remove the shoes as per security protocol.

The complaint says after the agent put the shoes back on the wrong feet, Dixon continued on to the escalator, where she fell down, striking her head, back and legs, before being dragged up the escalator.

Airport personnel should have known about Dixon’s physical and mental conditions because she had filled out and submitted a special services form, which should have ensured “plaintiff’s safety from entry to the airport until plane boarding,” the lawsuit states.

The suit says Dixon’s head, neck, back and leg injuries have cost her great pain and suffering, and will continue ongoing medical attention.

The suit says Dixon has suffered severe physical pain, aches, fear, mental anguish, humiliation, inconveniences and loss of life’s pleasures due to the accident.

In addition to the airport, the other defendants named in the lawsuit are the City of Philadelphia, Primeflight Aviation Services, Inc. and US Airways, Inc.

The plaintiff demands judgment in her favor against each of the defendants in an amount not exceeding the arbitration limits, or $50,000, plus attorney’s fees, delay damages and other court costs.

The non-jury matter is scheduled for an arbitration hearing on Jan. 20, 2012.

The case number is 110502073.

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