American Airlines blames tight seats for August fight on California flight

Christopher Gerard, who suffered serious head injuries in fight with other passengers on 14 August, still in the intensive care unit at San Diego hospital American Airlines is pointing the finger at the legroom…

American Airlines blames tight seats for August fight on California flight

Christopher Gerard, who suffered serious head injuries in fight with other passengers on 14 August, still in the intensive care unit at San Diego hospital

American Airlines is pointing the finger at the legroom between two rows of seats on a flight as being the cause of an Aug 7 attack on an airline employee that left the employee with serious head injuries.

The airline said in a letter to employees on Friday that the electrical device the man was allegedly attempting to light on the California flight was next to a row of seats he was seated in.

However, the airline says the need for a short row of seats between two sets of passengers was common after the seating system was changed by the Federal Aviation Administration several years ago.

Christopher Gerard was injured after a fight broke out with other passengers on a flight from Washington to San Diego.

His lawyer Jeffrey Wilson did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment. Wilson told KFMB last month that the flight attendant’s reputation was “very likely tarnished” and the incident “obviously involved two groups of people – folks who were reasonably angry and over it.”

Jeffrey Wilson on the attack on Christopher Gerard, a flight attendant: ‘It’s like something out of a movie’

The other passengers have denied kicking or punching Gerard, saying it was he who fought them. The man was arrested by police but has not been charged.

However, airline CEO Doug Parker says American’s records show that this is “one of the most serious assaults on American employees in our history”.

Parker said that employees “are the face of American Airlines” and that such attacks were “unacceptable”.

In the letter to employees, Parker said: “There is nothing more serious than the safety and security of our passengers and our employees.”

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