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Disabled Woman Suing American Airlines for Being Forced to Crawl Onto Plane

© Flickr / Peter RussellAmerican Airlines B767-323ER N371AA "Old Scheme"
American Airlines B767-323ER N371AA Old Scheme - Sputnik International
A wheel-chair bound woman who was forced to crawl onto a plane filed a lawsuit Friday against American Airlines.

Theresa Purcell was taking a commercial flight from San Diego. When she reached the gate, she said a flight attendant told her it was too late to set up the ramp so she could board the plane.

“I was humiliated,” Purcell said. “It was embarrassing to have 50-something people watch you crawl into a plane.”

Purcell is a hip-hop artist who travels regularly and said she had told American Airlines in advance that she would need a ramp to board the flight. She suffers from a bone disease that keeps her bound to a wheel chair.

“There was a ramp right next to the plane and she was like, ‘Oh, it’s too late,’ so I was like ‘Okay, so we can’t just, the ramp is right there. Can’t you guys just push it right here so I can get on?’ and she’s like, 'Oh, I’m sorry',” Purcell said.

Her attorney sent American Airlines a letter seeking $75,000 in general damages plus punitive damages.

The airliner replied with, “Thank you for your letter on behalf of Theresa Purcell. American Airlines will not be issuing any compensation for your client’s injuries claim.”

Purcell says she wants to teach the airline a lesson through her lawsuit. 

She says she still flies but has refused to do so with American Airlines. 

“Is today another time where I have to climb onto an airplane again, where all these people have to watch me embarrass myself again, and I got to be there? hoping please, I hope I never see these people again” Purcell said.

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