The husband of an obese New York woman who died after being denied flights home from Hungary is suing three airlines, claiming their failure to transport his wife led to her death.
According to ABC News, Vilma Soltesz, weighing 407 lbs, was vacationing in Hungary when she died of kidney failure. The death came after she and husband Janos Soltesz made three unsuccessful attempts to fly back to the U.S. for treatment.
The network said that the couple was thrice told she was too large to fit safely on a plane — once while they were in the cabin of a KLM aircraft — and were denied access to the cabin.
Soltesz died while they were trying to arrange transit back to the United States. Now there is sadness for Janos and a $6 million lawsuit for the airlines.
His lawyer, Holly Ostrov-Ronai told ABC News that the airlines failed to make simple accommodations for Soltesz and unfairly denied her service, leading to her death. She had managed to board a KLM flight to Hungary, thanks to an airlift and seat-belt extender. The lawyer argued the company had a responsibility to ensure she could get home.
Soltesz was later denied access to flights with Delta and Lufthansa, either because she was physically unable to board the flight or because she could not do up her seat-belt.
In all three cases, the airlines say they did everything they could to accommodate Soltesz before regretfully declining her service.
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The New York Post reports that Soltesz suffered from kidney disease and diabetes, which likely caused her to add water weight during her time in Hungary. Regardless of what caused it, Soltesz could not board a flight home and her husband is now a widower.
This grief-stricken Janos must miss his wife. He must miss the times they shared together, the quiet times and the passionate times. But the airlines that refused Soltesz service did not kill her.
Kidney failure killed Soltesz, and the couple's decision to vacation away from the doctors they trusted is what left her stranded and in need of treatment.
The airlines that tried and failed to offer the obese woman service were honest about the realities of their situation.
Now, too late, Janos Soltesz must be honest about the realities of his.