Widower Sues Airlines That Wouldn’t Fly Obese Wife Home
Vilma Soltesz was 425 pounds and, although she was able to get a flight to her her vacation home in Hungary, various airlines refused her passage back home, after she was told to see her doctor upon her return.
By Oct. 2, Vilma Soltesz sought treatment at a hospital in Hungary when she fell ill, according to the lawsuit. She was released and told she could fly home but to see her doctor immediately upon her arrival, according to the lawsuit.
The pair tried to leave Budapest two weeks later on a KLM Royal Dutch Airlines flight, with accommodations similar to what they received on their flight from the United States, according to the suit. But a captain told them to disembark after Vilma Soltesz struggled to maneuver from her wheelchair into her assigned seats, the lawsuit says.
After waiting in a Budapest airport for more than five hours, the couple drove to Prague to catch a Delta flight they were assured could accommodate them. But Delta did not have an adequate wheelchair to transport Vilma Soltesz to her seat, the suit added.
“The Delta flight coordinator told Janos and Vilma that Delta ‘did not have access to a skylift’ to get Vilma onto the aircraft from the rear, and that there was nothing more Delta could do for them,” the lawsuit stated.
Later, on Oct. 22, as several medics and firefighters helped her board a Lufthansa flight, the captain told the couple they had to disembark because “other passengers need to catch a connecting flight and cannot be delayed further,” the lawsuit says.
“Exhausted and feeling ill,” Vilma Soltesz went to bed after the couple drove back to their vacation home in Veszprem, Hungary, the lawsuit says. On Oct. 24, Janos found her dead, the lawsuit says