14-Year-Old Dies During Flight, Mother Alleges Airline Mishandled Critical Evidence

Ballinger News Staff

14-Year-Old Dies During Flight, Mother Alleges Airline Mishandled Critical Evidence

The mother of the late Kevin Arzu expressed, “I never want this to happen to another child or family.”

A mother is suing American Airlines for the death of her 14-year-old son.

The lawsuit, filed on May 13 and reviewed by PEOPLE, alleges that Kevin Greenidge and his family were traveling on AA Flight 614 from Honduras to New York on June 4, 2022, when Kevin experienced a health emergency and lost consciousness during the flight.

Following an emergency landing, Kevin was taken to a hospital in Mexico where he was pronounced dead.

According to the suit, the cabin crew did not promptly respond to Kevin’s medical emergency. The suit suggests that either the crew was “unable to properly operate” the automated external defibrillator (AED) on board, or the AED itself was malfunctioning.

In a statement to PEOPLE on May 20, an American Airlines spokesperson stated, “Our thoughts are with Mr. Greenidge’s family and friends,” adding, “We decline further comment as this matter is currently being litigated.”

The suit claims that when Kevin’s family sought help for his medical emergency, American Airlines’ flight personnel delayed their response and failed to provide effective assistance.

Reportedly, difficulties arose when attempts were made to use the defibrillator to revive him.

Witnesses stated that each time the AED indicated it was “clear” to administer a shock, no shock was given, and instead, the machine instructed them to continue performing CPR.

The lawsuit alleges that airline records indicate the crew was not trained on how to use that particular type of AED, and that the airline’s emergency medical kit lacked proper labeling.

The complaint states, “Had AA Flight 614 been properly equipped with the necessary and functional medical equipment, had American Airlines properly trained its airline personnel for in-flight medical events, and had airline personnel timely responded to Greenidge’s medical emergency and effectively implemented the skills learned in their training, Greenidge would not have experienced the intense physical and emotional pain he suffered.”

Greenidge’s family claims that their lawyer attempted to inspect the AED machine multiple times before filing the lawsuit, but American Airlines allegedly refused to allow it, leading to concerns that the machine may have been destroyed, put back into service, or “lost.”

Following her son’s death, the boy’s mother reportedly “never heard from American Airlines,” which she described as leaving her feeling hopeless. She believes that American Airlines should be held fully accountable for Kevin’s death to prevent such tragedies from occurring again.

Melanie Arzu’s attorney, Hannah Crowe, commented, “The loss of a child is truly unimaginable, and the facts of this case are horrendous.” Crowe added, “Many witnesses agree that American Airlines flight attendants were slow to react and couldn’t use the AED machine, which didn’t seem to work.”

While the suit was initially filed in New York, it was later transferred to Fort Worth, Texas, where American Airlines is headquartered.

Crowe expressed confidence in the Texas court system, stating, “What happened to Kevin will be told to our jury,” adding, “When they hear the facts of this case, they will be shocked that American Airlines would put its passengers in such danger, especially children.”

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