AA Wedding Dress Flap Becomes $3.4 Million Lawsuit

Bruce Parkinson, Open Jaw

Yewande Oteh

The allegedly negligent treatment of a wedding dress by American Airlines two years ago has festered into a US$3.4 million lawsuit.

Here’s how the story goes, from the perspective of the bride’s lawsuit against the airline.

Yewande Oteh was travelling with her family from Philadelphia to Jamaica in AUG 2015 to get married at her grandparent’s hotel in Montego Bay. While checking in to her AA flight, a ticket agent told Oteh not to check her wedding dress and instead hang it in a closet at the front of the plane.

But when Oteh boarded the plane, the lawsuit states, she was informed by flight attendant Melanie Masters that she was not allowed to use the closet, which was reserved for American Airline staff.

In a lawsuit filed by Oteh against American Airlines, she alleges that the flight attendant became ‘indignant and agitated’ and laughed when Oteh responded that she was planning on filing a complaint.

For her part, Masters told Jim Walsh of the Courier-Post that she rejects the lawsuit's description of events. "It really didn't go like that at all," she said.

Oteh eventually placed her dress in an empty overhead bin in first class, far from her seat at the back of the plane. Once the plane landed, Oteh says, she retrieved her dress from the overhead bin and found that it had been soaked in red wine.

In the lawsuit, Oteh alleges that she and her husband watched the bin for the duration of the flight and witnessed two flight attendants put something in the bin.

After landing in Jamaica, Oteh’s sister flew to Florida in an effort to find a new wedding dress for her sister. Several gowns (which could not be fitted or returned) were purchased. Oteh says that the physical and emotional ramifications of having her dress ruined caused her to cancel previously planned events, which diminished her enjoyment of her wedding.

The lawsuit cites four counts of negligence including negligent infliction of emotional distress, causing a “lifetime of damage.”

About US$3.4 million worth apparently. Which seems like a lot to the humble people here at Open Jaw. But the fact that one person won about half a BILLION dollars in a lottery this week means the world is upside down anyway.

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