A California woman won a 27.5 million dollar verdict against Southwest Airlines in a lawsuit that she was racially profiled by the airline and its flight attendants. Southwest Airlines accused Carrington of assaulting a flight attendant in midflight between Houston and Los Angeles. They diverted the aircraft to El Paso and had her taken off the flight.
Samantha Carrington of Santa Barbara, California, won her case Friday after suing the Dallas-based airline for false imprisonment and malicious prosecution. Federal authorities arrested her in 2003 after her Houston-to-Los Angeles flight made a scheduled stop in El Paso. She was never charged with a crime.
According to court records, three flight attendants said Carrington, a naturalized citizen from Iran, became verbally abusive, grabbed a flight attendant’s arm and threatened to go to the cockpit if the captain was not summoned.
Carrington, 54, said that the flight attendants were lying and that she was the one mistreated.