D.C. Man Sues Seven Airlines Over Mask Mandate, Accuses Them Of Discriminating Against Passengers With Medical Conditions

A man has filed a lawsuit against seven airlines accusing them of discrimination because they told him he’d have to wear a mask despite his medical condition.

On Monday, Washington, D.C. native Lucas Wall filed a lawsuit against seven airlines: Southwest, Alaska, Allegiant, Delta, Frontier, JetBlue, and Spirit, accusing them of discriminating against fliers who can’t wear masks because of medical conditions.

According to Yahoo! News, Wall struggles with an anxiety condition; he says he’s been stuck living with his mother at her retirement community in Florida because he can’t fly out. According to his complaint, which was filed in U.S. District Court in Orlando, Fla., Wall specifically struggles with generalized anxiety disorder.

Not only has he filed a complaint against the airlines, but he’s also sent one in against The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). His court filings includes his medical diagnosis.

“I take medication for that, but I’m still prone to panic attacks,” he said in a phone interview this week. “One of the triggers is, any time my breathing is obstructed, that brings a feeling of claustrophobia and a complete sense of unease.”

A few of the airlines have responded to the complaint. JetBlue said Wall’s filing “is entirely without merit,” saying the Department of Transportation is the only group that can look into and enforce ACAA regulations. “Plaintiff cites that he needs emergency relief from this Court because, otherwise, he will be ‘stranded at [his] mother’s house in the Villages,'” wrote JetBlue’s attorney, Suzanne E. Gilbert, of Holland & Knight LLP. “Plaintiff’s procrastination is not an emergency.”

In a statement via email, Delta said it has no specific comment on the complaint. “While Delta has no specific comment on this complaint, the actions Delta began taking in 2020 to protect our people and customers during the pandemic are part of our long-standing commitment to a high standard of care as nothing is more important at Delta than safety,” said a spokesperson. “Delta’s mask-wearing requirement for customers and our people remains in place as does a federal mandate for mask-wearing across all modes of public transportation.”

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