A disabled man in Haiku, Hawaii is suing Delta Airlines after he was allegedly forced to crawl on and off a plane because the aircraft wasn’t equipped to handle his partial paralysis.
Baraka Kanaan, 40, filed a discrimination lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Hawaii last month against Delta and 20 of the carrier’s employees and agents, alleging “appallingly outrageous treatment” by staff during two separate flights in July 2012, according to ABC News.
Kanaan said he endured “intense physical and extreme emotional suffering” during his flight to Nantucket, Mass., and on a flight back to Maui, Hawaii, two days later.
Kanaan, who suffered his paralysis in a 2000 car accident, said in the lawsuit that he called Delta airlines weeks in advance to request an aisle seat and a lift to help him into his wheelchair. An agent agreed, but he was told when he landed at Nantucket Airport that there was no equipment available.
However the company issued a statement about the incident.
“Caring for and accommodating the needs of customers with disabilities to ensure accessibility is a top priority for Delta. Our agents and attendants are always available to help our customers before boarding, in the air and at the destination airport,” the statement reads.
It added: “It is Delta’s policy to fully comply with all applicable rules and regulations governing accessibility for customers with disabilities. This includes providing assistance during the boarding and deplaning process, such as providing timely wheelchair assistance, mechanized lifts, and ramps when needed.”