Teenager dies after defibrillator on American Airlines flight wasn't charged, lawsuit alleges

ARLINGTON, VA - NOVEMBER 23: An American Airlines plane lands at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport November 23, 2021 in Arlington, Virginia. With Covid-19 vaccinations on the rise and Americans now traveling more freely, U.S. airports and air

A New York mother is alleging her son died after he went into cardiac arrest on an American Airlines flight to Florida and the automatic external defibrillator on board the plane was not charged. 

Kevin Greenidge was a passenger traveling from San Pedro Sula, Honduras, to Miami on June 4, 2022, when he suffered medical trauma and became unconscious, according to a lawsuit recently filed by his mother Melissa Arzu in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. 

The lawsuit says Greenidge’s resulting death was "caused wholly and solely by reason of the carelessness, recklessness and negligence of the defendant AMERICAN, its respective agents, servants and/or employees in failing to maintain an automatic external defibrillator (AED) on board the subject flight" and "failing to ensure that the AED and its mobile battery pack were fully and properly charged." 

It also accuses American Airlines of "failing to train its employees with basic resuscitation technique" and "causing, permitting and allowing the mobile battery pack to drain down to no power thereby causing the AED to stop working." 

"That as a consequence of the defendant’s negligence in failing to maintain a working defibrillator upon their flight caused, permitted and/or hastened the untimely death of... Kevin Greenidge," it added. 

The lawsuit is seeking damages and payment of attorney fees, among other relief. 

It references the Aviation Medical Assistance Act of 1998, saying that the law "requires airlines to carry defibrillators aboard each aircraft with flight attendants" and that the devices "must be inspected regularly in accordance with inspection periods established in the operations specifications to ensure its condition for continued serviceability and immediate readiness to perform its intended emergency purposes." 

American Airlines did not respond Tuesday morning when asked by FOX Business to comment on the legal filing. 

The filing of the lawsuit comes after the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said it is investigating a close call involving one of American Airlines flights at Sarasota Bradenton International Airport.  

According to NTSB, on Feb. 16, an Air Canada Rouge A-321 aircraft was cleared for takeoff on Runway 14 at the same time an American Airlines B-737 plane was cleared to land on the same runway. 

Officials said the American Airlines crew self-initiated a go-around, aborting the landing. 

No injuries or damage were reported.  

Fox Business' Chris Pandolfo contributed to this report.