Last updated: 02:50 PM ET, Fri July 22 2016

Elderly Woman Sues United Airlines After Fall Down Escalator

Impacting Travel | Donald Wood | July 22, 2016

Elderly Woman Sues United Airlines After Fall Down Escalator

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

In a lawsuit filed last week, an 89-year-old woman from Texas is suing United Airlines after she fell down an escalator in February when the airline failed to provide her with a wheelchair.

According to, Thelma Kiger said in the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas that she injured her ribs, pelvis, shoulder, arm, back and legs during a fall down an escalator at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston.

The lawsuit accuses United Airlines of negligence, negligent training and violations of the Air Carrier Access Act.

Kiger said she was handed a wheelchair voucher in Los Angeles before flying to Houston, and was told a United Airlines employee would meet her with a wheelchair when she landed. She was also told an attendant would take her to the baggage claim area upon arrival.

Instead, Kiger was told to sit and wait at the gate until an employee came over to help. Eventually, a man on an electric cart stopped and helped the elderly woman onto the vehicle and took her to the escalators that led down to baggage claim area. The employee then told the woman to get off the cart and left her alone.

When Kiger attempted to get on the escalator, she slipped and fell down to the bottom, knocking herself unconscious. As a result of the accident, she was hospitalized for a week and spent several additional weeks in physical therapy. Now, she must use a cane to move around and is unable to do many of the things she once enjoyed.

Kiger is looking to be compensated for her medical expenses and the pain, suffering and mental anguish she has experienced since the incident.


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