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Thursday, July 18, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Brazilian Airline Workers Pilfered|From Mom’s Corpse, Woman Says

MANHATTAN (CN) - Brazilian airline workers robbed a woman's corpse of wedding rings and $8,000 cash after she suffered a heart attack on a flight from New York to Brazil, the woman's daughter claims in Federal Court.

Suing on behalf of herself, her two sisters and her mother's estate, Andrea Ortiz says her mother, Petrucia Williams, died while disembarking, and TAM Linhas Aereas staff stole the jewelry and money from her mother's body before turning it over to paramedics.

Ortiz says her mother was flying with TAM Linhas Aereas from JFK International to Rio de Janeiro in October 2009, when she felt shortness of breath and chest pain.

Ortiz says flight attendants did not provide her mother with an oxygen tank or seek a doctor on the flight, or divert the plane to the nearest airport. She says that the airline workers did not even allow her mother to disembark first, but made her wait until all the other passengers had left, and her mother collapsed and died on the jet bridge.

Before handing Williams' body over to paramedics in Rio, Ortiz says, workers stole her mother's sneakers, jacket, watches, wedding rings, passports and wallet, containing credit cards and $8,000 in cash.

Ortiz sued TAM for wrongful death, negligence, misconduct and conversion. She is represented by Michelle Viana.

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