The mayor of Bridgeport Connecticut is seeking unspecified damages in a lawsuit he’s filed against Delta Air Lines in state Superior Court. According to the New Haven Register and other local newspapers, he claims that an alleged emotional support dog on his plane bit him and caused, “serious, severe, painful and permanent injuries” to his “left lower extremity,” which resulted in scarring and disfigurement, pain and suffering.
As per the lawsuit, on Nov. 10, 2018, Mayor Joe Ganim boarded Flight 1841, from Minneapolis to Spokane. While in his assigned seat, he was bitten by a dog that was with a boarding passenger. The suit states the mayor was not “teasing, tormenting or abusing the dog” at the time.
As soon as the incident happened, Ganim asked the airline if the dog had all its vaccinations but the lawsuit states Delta refused to give him that information. The airline also refused to provide the mayor with the dog’s owner’s contact information.
The lawsuit states that since Delta wasn’t cooperative with providing information about the dog’s medical history or owner, Ganim had to undergo a series of painful rabies treatments.
Ganim’s suit states, “Delta Airlines Inc. is legally responsible for the incident in that it failed to safeguard the plaintiff from unwarranted harm by allowing a dog neither crated nor muzzled to walk freely on and within the cabin of the plane.”
The airlines all have their requirements for emotional support animals, and Delta’s rules for these pets were most recently updated in March 2020 (and documented on June 4). The Department of Transportation had announced this past January that airlines would no longer be required to accept emotional support animals under a new proposal and it appears that it passed and was documented in April. But all of that happened well over a year after the mayor was bitten in November 2018.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary