WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CN) – A doctor who asked a flight attendant to bring water for his pregnant wife during a lengthy delay on the tarmac says the Spirit Airlines crew threw him off the plane and told media outlets that the doctor made “verbal references to terrorism.”
The February flight to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., was delayed on the tarmac for more than two hours, Mitchell Roslin claims in Westchester County Court.
Roslin claims that after he asked for water, a flight attendant for the Delaware-based airline told him it was against airline policy to provide water at that time.
“While still on the tarmac, Mitchell Roslin MD and his family were told by employees or agents of Spirit Airlines Inc. to exit the plane, and could not embark on that flight to Fort Lauderdale, Florida,” the complaint states. “Spirit Airlines Inc. fully refunded the cost of the tickets for Flight 601 paid by Mitchell Roslin MD.”
Roslin says several news sources, including the Huffington Post and New York Post, published a story about the incident the next day, but a Spirit spokesman gave a “false and defamatory statement” about Roslin.
Spirit allegedly claimed that Roslin had to be “escorted off the flight for violating federal law for interfering with a flight crew,” that “he made verbal references to terrorism” and that “his escalating behavior was a safety risk to the crew and other passengers.”
Roslin also says Spirit accused him of trying “to incite other passengers to the point that another passenger started to cry in fear.”
According to the articles that were posted in February, Spirit also accused Roslin’s 9-year-old son of kicking a Spirit employee in the groin.
Roslin seeks $11 million in punitive damages for defamation. He is represented by Thomas Gerspach with Gerspach Sikoscow of Manhattan.