A man from Alabama has filed a lawsuit against Delta and accused the airline of negligence after a passenger's dog with emotional support allegedly attacked him on a flight in 2017.
Marlin Jackson sat in a window seat on a flight from Atlanta to San Diego when a fellow passenger's "big dog" suddenly beat him, biting his face and squeezing him loudly against the window of the plane.
] Jackson said the dog had bitten him several times, causing him to "bled so much that the entire row of seats had to be removed from the plane," the lawsuit said Friday in Fulton County state court had been submitted.
"While Mr. Jackson was strapping on his seatbelt, the animal began to growl," it said in the lawsuit. "The attack was briefly interrupted when the animal was pulled away by Mr. Jackson, but the animal broke away and struck again on Mr. Jackson's face."
Jackson said he had facial and upper body injuries that required 28 stitches, leaving him with permanent scars. He said he had a loss of feeling in areas of his face, "severe physical pain and suffering", emotional distress and mental anxiety after the attack, according to the lawsuit.
"His overall lifestyle has been severely impacted by this attack," states the suit. "Mr. Jackson has not enjoyed his life and his lifestyle has been severely affected by this attack."
He sues the airline for an unspecified amount, claiming it can not guarantee his safety and allowing the dog to enter without proper restrictions. The dog's owner is also referred to as the plaintiff in the lawsuit.
Delta told ABC News that he could not comment on the allegations, as the lawsuit was pending.
"In 2018, Delta tightened its policy on animals with emotional support by requesting an animal training confirmation form and other official records," the company said. "The airline has also banned pit bulls and animals under four months of service or companion animals, and these policy updates underpin Delta's core value, which puts safety first."
"Delta is continually reviewing and improving its on-board policies and procedures as part of its commitment to health, safety and protecting the rights of disabled customers," he added.