News, Culture & Society

Bride sues American Airlines for $3.4M over stained gown

A Boston woman has filed a lawsuit demanding $3.4million plus interest, costs and attorney’s fees after alleging that an American Airlines flight attendant destroyed her wedding dress as she was travelling to her ceremony.

Yewande Oteh claims she ‘suffered severe diarrhea, dehydration and depressive symptoms’ after a flight attendant went into an overhead bin and dumped red wine on her wedding dress in court papers filed by her mother in United States District Court, District of New Jersey.

She also claims that she remained ‘physically and emotionally ill over the next week’ and was unable to enjoy her Jamaican wedding, which took place back in August 2015.

The lawsuit is asking that Yewande, her lawyer husband Chidi, their then-nine-month-old son, her mother and attorney Yvette Sterling and her sister Dr. Kemi Fajolu each be compensated for the ‘sustained and continued emotional and physical distress.’

Yewande has filed the lawsuit against American Airlines and not the flight attendant ‘Melanie Masters,’ whose ‘willful and wanton conduct … has caused her a lifetime of damage.’ 

American Airlines told in a statement: ‘We are reviewing the lawsuit.’ 

Blushing bride: Yewande Oteh (above on her wedding day in her replacement dress) has filed a $3.4million lawsuit against American Airlines claiming that flight attendant ‘Melanie Masters’ intentionally destroyed her bridal gown

In the lawsuit, Yewande claims that after checking in for her flight on August 14, 2015, the ticket agent instructed her to take her dress on the flight rather than check it with her luggage.

Once she boarded the flight however, Yewande claims that Masters informed her that she could not use the closet to hang her dress.

‘American Airlines Flight Attendant ‘Melanie’ became indignant and agitated, and began to talk to Plaintiff in a hostile aggressive way, instructing her that the closet space was for passengers,’ states the lawsuit.

And when Yewande tried to inform Masters what the ticket agent had told her the flight attendant ‘became more agitated and instructed Plaintiff in an aggressive manner that there was no closet for passengers.’

Yewande was able to find a empty bin in the first class section she claims at that point, but then had another run-in with Masters.

‘While attempting to assist Plaintiff, Flight Attendant went on the right side of Plaintiff, and asked Plaintiff to ‘stop her attitude,” states the lawsuit.

‘Flight Attendant placed her body close to Plaintiff’s while taking in an aggressive manner to Plaintiff.’

In response, an ’embarrassed and shocked’ Yewonde informed Masters that she was ‘working for the passengers in a service position.’ 

After taking her seat, Yewonde claims she kept her eye on the bin and that no one else put anything inside during the entire flight. 

She then saw Masters go into that overhead bin during the flight, opening it ‘with her right hand while something was occupying her left hand’ according to her court filing. 

Yewonde claims she told her husband what she saw and they both kept an eye on the cabin, observing Masters and another flight attendant again open the bin slightly during the flight. 

‘Plaintiff alleges that it was her belief that the flight attendants were placing something in the bin and making fun of Plaintiff and her wedding gown,’ according to court papers.

After the flight landed, Yewonde was the last to get off, and exited with her infant child while sending her husband back onto the plane to get her dress, which was in the overhead bin.

Yewonde claims she herself did not go as she was ‘fearful’ of Masters.

Her husband Chidi was not allowed back on he flight however, forcing the pair to get airport police to retrieve the dress.

Named: The lawsuit was filed by Yewonde's mother Yvette Sterling (left with her other daughter, Dr. Kemi Fajolu)

Named: The lawsuit was filed by Yewonde’s mother Yvette Sterling (left with her other daughter, Dr. Kemi Fajolu)

Groom: Yewonde's husband Chidi, holding their young child (above)

Groom: Yewonde’s husband Chidi, holding their young child (above)

‘Plaintiffs, along with other [Montenegro Bay Jamaica] airport workers observed the MBJ worker remove the dress from the bin with utter shock and confusion,’ sattes the court filing.

‘Plaintiffs, along with others, observed the MBJ worker ask American Flight Attendant Melanie what had happened to the dress. Plaintiffs observed American Flight Attendant Melanie smirk and say “something must have spilled inside of the wedding bag.”‘

After opening the bag, Yewande saw the red wine and made police stop the flight as it was prepared to take off again and question Masters and the other flight attendants. 

She then claims that she was forced to search in Jamaica for a new wedding dress and that her sister had to fly home to Florida to look as well, returning with gowns that were not properly fitted to her body.

Despite all this, in a wedding photo posted from the day she can be seen smiling in her white dress while holding a flower. 

The lawsuit is asking for $850,000 for each of the four counts: Negligence, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress and Negligent Hiriing and Negligent Retention.