Delta Sued for Alleged Child Molestation on Flight

An 11-year-old girl flying alone from San Diego to Atlanta has alleged that she was sexually molested by a man who moved into the empty seat next to her on the flight. She reported the assault to her mother later but no charges have been brought or suspect arrested.

This is not the first such assault. Northwest Airlines paid more than $500,000 to a girl who claimed she was repeatedly sexually molested by a man on a flight from Kansas City, Mo., to Detroit in 2001. In that case, however, the girl was able to identify the alleged culprit.

In March, a woman accused an off-duty Northwest Airlines employee of molesting her and in 2005, a woman said that she was assaulted while sleeping by a man on an overnight flight — he received seven years in prison.

As a common carrier, Delta falls under a common law rule that allows liability for the slightest negligence. While criminal act or intentional torts often cut off liability under legal causation, this is not a barrier for a common carrier or when there is a duty to watch over a minor known to be traveling alone.

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One thought on “Delta Sued for Alleged Child Molestation on Flight”

  1. Hello Professor!

    What is sad about this is that her parents probably paid for the privilege.

    The airlines charge as much as $50 each way for a child under 16 to fly as an “unaccompanied minor” so that the child my be escorted and monitored by their staff, both in flight on in the terminals.

    Someone was asleep at the switch here.

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