Delta Air Lines off-duty employee groped, kissed passenger after being over-served: Lawsuit

MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - A Minnesota woman filed a lawsuit claiming she experienced unwanted touching and kissing from an off-duty employee during a Delta Air Lines flight from Las Vegas to Minneapolis.

The lawsuit filed in Minnesota District Court alleges flight attendants continued to serve their off-duty colleague alcohol even after the passenger expressed concern. However, it's not just what they didn't do that's being called into question, it's what they did after the plane landed that could land them in some legal trouble.

"When you're on a plane, you can't just run away and get away from a bad situation, you're basically a hostage on that flight," said Minneapolis attorney Jeff Storms.

Storms says his client, Alison Petri, was on a nightmare flight from Las Vegas to Minneapolis last year. She claims she was sexually assaulted by a heavily intoxicated off-duty Delta employee.

"Either colleagues or friends were serving her, and instead of cutting her off, it was – ‘don't worry we'll keep the party going, don't worry, we'll take care of you,’" explained Storms.

The lawsuit details how Petri was "kissed on the mouth" and "rubbed [on] her buttocks" during the three-hour flight all while her seat-mate, who was traveling with a crew bag on a flight pass, downed several alcoholic beverages, court records allege.

When Petri went to flight attendants "concerned about [the woman’s] level of intoxication," they proceeded to serve the off-duty employee her fifth can of wine.

After the flight, surveillance photos from the airport allegedly showed the off-duty employee falling down the escalator because she was so intoxicated. After Petri reported the incident to Delta agents when they landed, Facebook messages appeared to show the flight attendants warning the off-duty employee about the complaint.

When the off-duty employee claims not to remember the encounter, the colleague responds, "Yeah, you were pretty bombed," court records read.

The next day, the same person alerts her to a possible investigation, advising her to, "Stick to your story. Are you on meds? Just asking because that could help with the alcohol issue," the lawsuit reads.

"These Delta employees worked very quickly to cover up the misconduct of their friend and co-worker," said Storms.

In a statement, Delta said, "While we don't have any specific comment on this pending litigation, Delta does not tolerate inappropriate or unlawful behavior. Nothing is more important than the safety of our customers and our people."

A Delta spokesperson declined to tell FOX 9 whether the employee at the center of this lawsuit is still employed by the airline giant or any of its subsidiaries. Over the summer, she was convicted of a disorderly conduct charge in connection with the case and sentenced to one year of unsupervised monitoring.