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Man sues airlines over obese wife’s death

Vilma Soltesz reportedly died after being denied a seat on three international flights

A man whose morbidly obese wife died after being refused a place on three flights from Europe to the U.S. is suing three airlines for $6 million.

Janos Soltesz claims that his wife Vilma became ill while on vacation in Budapest, Hungary last October. Doctors at a hospital there allegedly told Vilma—who weighed 425 pounds, suffered from diabetes and kidney disease and had an amputated leg—that she could fly home to New York, but that she should see a doctor immediately after arriving.

When the couple subsequently tried to book seats on a U.S.-bound KLM Royal Dutch Airlines flight, however, the captain told them to leave the plane after Vilma had trouble getting from her wheelchair into the two seats the duo had purchased for her, the lawsuit claims.

Their next effort to board a Delta flight from Prague also failed, after the airline reportedly told the pair that the airline “did not have access to a skylift” to get Vilma Soltesz on the plane.

Finally, almost three weeks after Vilma Soletz had gone to the hospital, a Lufthansa captain allegedly kicked the couple off while they were attempting to board a final flight, supposedly because they were delaying other passengers who needed to catch connecting flights. Two days later, on Oct. 24, Janos says that he found his wife dead at their vacation home.

According to his lawsuit, which alleges wrongful death and gross negligence, the airlines failed to accommodate his wife even though they told her they could do so.

Read more at Thomson Reuters.

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Alanna Byrne

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