ST. LOUIS (CN) – A woman says she was shackled to a hospital bed and force-fed sedatives after Southwest Airlines employees falsely told police that the woman was suicidal. Joung Hwa Levy claims in city court that she was not suicidal, but was having a panic attack after Southwest employees assaulted her at Las Vegas airport.
According to the complaint:
Levy and her husband left St. Louis on March 14 on a flight to Oakland, Calif., with a stopover in Las Vegas. Before takeoff, a flight attendant told Levy’s husband to turn off his iPod. Her husband complied and asked why the FAA required passengers to turn off devices such as iPods. The flight attendant said she didn’t have time for such conversations. Later in the flight, another flight attendant told her husband that if he did not apologize to the first flight attendant, there would be trouble when they landed in Las Vegas.
When the plane landed, uniformed Southwest personnel detained and separated the Levys. Employees refused to explain to Joung Hwa Levy why they were being detained and why their luggage was removed from the flight and their reservations canceled. A Southwest employee pushed Levy down when she stood up from a chair, causing her to have a panic attack. Instead of seeking medical treatment, Southwest employees told police that Levy was suicidal. Levy then was shackled to a stretcher and taken to a hospital where she was shackled to a bed and given sedatives against her will.
Levy says she was never charged with a crime, was forced to find an alternative way home and says Southwest employees sarcastically offered her a 2-cent refund on her ticket. Levy seeks punitive damages. She is represented by James Godfrey.