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An American Airlines passenger died after a flight during which a doctor allegedly asked crew for an emergency landing three times (AAL)

Mark Matousek
american airlines

Mike Blake / Reuters


  • American Airlines passenger Brittany Oswell died after a flight on which she suffered an embolism and went into cardiac arrest, according to a wrongful death lawsuit filed against the airline by Oswell's husband and parents.
  • Attorney Brad Cranshaw claims a doctor on the flight examined Oswell and asked for an emergency landing multiple times.
  • The flight crew allegedly didn't follow the doctor's request, and Oswell later died at Baylor Medical Center in Dallas.


American Airlines passenger Brittany Oswell died after an April 15 flight from Hawaii to South Carolina with a stop in Dallas-Fort Worth on which she suffered an embolism and went into cardiac arrest, according to a wrongful death lawsuit filed against the airline by Oswell's husband and parents.

The lawsuit claims Oswell began to feel unwell while the flight was near Los Angeles and fainted after becoming disoriented and slurring her speech. A doctor who was a passenger on the flight allegedly talked to Oswell after she regained consciousness and determined she was having a panic attack.

According to the lawsuit, within three hours of the doctor's initial conversation, Oswell vomited and defecated on herself in the bathroom. The doctor then allegedly examined Oswell and told flight attendants to let the flight crew know it should land the plane at the nearest airport so Oswell could receive further medical attention.

Brad Cranshaw, the attorney representing Oswell's husband and parents, told The State that the doctor asked for an emergency landing three times, but the flight crew never attempted one.

The lawsuit alleges the doctor tried to use medical equipment on the plane, but the equipment didn't work properly. Oswell's breathing and pulse stopped about five minutes after the doctor went to the cockpit to speak with the pilot, according to the lawsuit, which claims the doctor then made three unsuccessful attempts to use a defibrillator on Oswell.

According to the lawsuit, Oswell was taken to Baylor Medical Center after the plane landed in Dallas-Fort Worth, where she was diagnosed with brain damage and an embolism. Oswell was removed from life support and declared dead on April 18.

"We take the safety of our passengers very seriously and we are looking into the details of the complaint," an American Airlines representative told Business Insider.

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