A Nigerian woman says she and her children were kicked off a United Airlines flight after a passenger who took her seat complained that she had an odor.
The lawsuit claims Obioma boarded the flight and discovered a white male passenger sitting in her business class seat. A flight crew member then reportedly asked Obioma to sit elsewhere in business class instead of insisting the man sit in his correct seat, The Washington Post reported. Flight personnel got involved but the man still refused to get out the seat so Obioma said she agreed to sit in the man's assigned seat nearby. When she went to the restroom before takeoff, she tried to go back to her seat only to find the man blocking her from returning to her seat for several minutes.
The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Houston on Friday, states that the white passenger was initially seated in Obioma's seat and refused to move.
As she insisted, she was informed by a flight crew that the pilot had requested her to leave the plane because the other passenger had complained he was not comfortable traveling next to her because she was stinking.
The mother was left sobbing and confused over what steps to take, according to the Dallas News, and as a result, the family was reportedly forced to wait hours before they could get on another flight, which Obioma said caused them to miss important appointments in Ontario.
The lawsuit alleges that United discriminated against Obioma and her children.
The airline has told several news outlets that they have not yet received the suit, which was filed in Houston on Friday, and can not comment on a suit they've not seen.
United Airlines Resisted by Nigerian Pupil booted for 'pungent' odor, Promising racial discrimination
Her lawsuit claims she was "wrongfully" singled out by United because of her race, and that she and her children were 'punished...publicly because a white man did not want them on the plane'.
Obioma asked what he meant by "pungent" and the employee told her that it meant she smelled.
Obioma and her children were delayed five hours before they could catch another flight, the papers say.
Obioma seeks punitive damages and legal penalties.
Obioma alleges United "wrongfully" singled her and her children out due to their race and "punished them publicly because a white man did not want them on the plane", according to the suit.
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