Flight attendant accused of bringing rats on board

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Jul 10, 2013 in Rat News | Subscribe

2013-07-10 11:45

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New York – An American Airlines flight attendant whose co-workers accused her of smuggling her pet rats onto aircraft in her underwear and pantyhose is suing the airline.

ABC news reports that Louann Giambattista, 55, a flight attendant with American Airlines since 1979, filed a lawsuit last month in a New York court. She claimed that she had been “outrageously discriminated against” because of a “perceived mental disability” resulting in a “hostile work environment.”

The suit was filed under the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Her attorney, Steven Morelli, said his client is not mentally disabled but rather being discriminated against because of the perception of a mental disability, which he said the disabilities act covers. He denies that she brought rats onboard flights.

According to the lawsuit two flight attendants made claims in February 2012 that Giambattista was bringing her concealed pet rats onto work flights. This apparently lead to Giambattista being subject to detentions and interrogations by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement. 

One of the flight attendants who made an allegation regarding the rat told Giambattista she believed Giambattista fed her pet rats on a flight because Giambattista ate a dinner roll out of a cup, according to the suit. But the suit said she ate out of a cup to not appear unprofessional by eating in front of the passengers.

Morelli said Giambattista did at one time have a pet rat that she talked openly about. 

The lawsuit, which asks for at least $150,000, said Giambattista suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder from the repeated customs’ interrogations, and that American had her passport flagged for illegal transportation of animals, resulting in the flight attendant’s being subject to searches every time she passed through customs enforcement.

American Airlines declined to comment on the lawsuit.

Giambattista still works for the company, flying a normal schedule.


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Article source: http://www.news24.com/Travel/International/Flight-attendant-accused-of-bringing-rats-on-board-20130710

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