(CN) – A Delta passenger is suing the airline over an in-flight toilet explosion that she says sprayed bodily fluids into her eyes and left her disgusted and humiliated.
In a lawsuit filed Monday in the 19th Judicial District Court in Baton Rouge, Malwina Czarny Ratajczak claims that Delta’s negligence resulted in the contents of a toilet – including blood and other bodily fluids – exploding in her face as she tried to flush it.
While boarding the flight that would take her from Atlanta to New Orleans on June 28, 2016, Czarny says she noticed that another passenger who used the restroom told a flight attendant that there was no water available.
The employee instructed the passenger to use a hand sanitizer instead of water, according to the complaint.
When Czarny used the same restroom during her flight, she noticed that there was blood in the toilet that had not been flushed by a previous user.
“When [Czarny] completed her use, she flushed the toilet and the contents exploded in her face with quite a bit of pressure, striking her eyes with force,” the complaint states.
She rushed to the flight attendant and requested water to flush her eyes, but the flight attendant also told her to use hand sanitizer, according to the lawsuit.
After explaining, again, that blood and other bodily fluids had exploded into her eyes, the flight attendant gave Czarny a bottle of water, she claims.
Although Czarny washed herself as best as she could with the single bottle of water, “she remained filthy the remainder of the flight,” according to the complaint.
As a molecular biologist, Czarny says she was acutely aware of the dangers posed by her exposure to the fluids that struck her in the eyes.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, diseases such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV can be spread through blood splashing in a person’s eye.
Upon landing, Czarny claims she reported the incident and a Delta gate agent arranged for her to be transported to an emergency room where she was given antiviral medications and other injections, and was tested for various bacteria and viruses.
She was also referred to an infectious disease specialist and had to undergo a series of blood tests to be sure that she was disease free, she says.
“Ms. Czarny was disgusted, terrified and humiliated when the incident happened. She was forced to endure the flight in that disgusting condition,” the complaint states.
In the suit against Delta and its insurer Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty Services, Czarny claims the airline was negligent by failing to ensure the airplane was in safe, working condition, failing to inspect the toilet to be sure it would not explode, and failing to close off the bathroom when it was apparent that it had no water.
Delta spokesperson Anthony Black said the airline does not have a comment on the lawsuit.
Czarny is seeking an unspecified amount of damages for mental anguish and emotional distress, humiliation, medical expenses, lost wages, and loss of enjoyment of life.
She is represented by Richard T. Gallagher Jr. of Gallagher, Westholz & Potter in Metairie, La.