WA woman sues Delta airlines saying she was groped by Delta employee on flight

A Washington woman is suing Delta Airlines and an employee at the time after she was groped on a flight back from a Taylor Swift concert in March 2023.

Duane Brick, 53, pleaded guilty earlier this month to Abusive Sexual Contact in Federal Court.

Brick was a Delta employee at the time. He has since been fired.

“Our client was already a bit of a nervous flier before this event. And after this event, well, she hasn’t been on a plane since,” said attorney Mark Lindquist.

Lindquist represents the then-24-year-old woman in this case.

On March 20, 2023, the victim was on her way back from a Taylor Swift concert in Phoenix on Delta Airlines Flight 1470 headed home to SEA Airport.

The lawsuit filed against the airline and then-Delta employee Brick explains that the woman was sitting in a window seat, and Brick was next to her in the middle.

The two of them chatted for a bit before she decided to take a nap

“The older man [Brick] who sat next to her already smelled a little of alcohol. So, she put on her air pods, tuned him out and fell asleep on the plane. She wakes up and she’s been sexually assaulted.”

The lawsuit alleges the airline overserved Brick alcohol at the time.

In his guilty plea, Brick admitted he “took the victim’s hand and placed it on his crotch for several minutes.”

Then, he continued to grope the victim under her shirt while she was asleep.

Lindquist told KIRO 7 his client said she immediately froze. Brick then got up and went to the bathroom.

“Leaving behind empty airline alcohol bottles and the victim turned to somebody sitting nearby. She said, so did you see that? And he did,” Lindquist explained.

The victim and witness, who was sitting in the aisle seat, reported the sexual assault to flight attendants while Brick was gone.

When he returned, Brick was still allowed to sit next to her.

“It took the flight attendants almost 15 minutes to move the perpetrator even after the victim and a witness had reported this sexual assault,” Lindquist said.

The lawsuit alleges negligence, gross negligence and recklessness by the airline. The suit says the airlines “Failed to properly train Delta’s flight attendants on identifying, preventing, and responding to in-flight sexual assaults of passengers despite the foreseeable risk of harm.”

The Port of Seattle has acknowledged the uptick in sexual assaults on planes and have advocated for more awareness.

In this case, Lindquist believes this could’ve been prevented.

“Airlines need to be aware of this, they need to train their people about this, and they need to react immediately when this happens.”

Delta Airlines responded to KIRO 7 in a statement:

“While Delta will decline to comment on pending litigation, Delta has zero tolerance for unlawful conduct and will work with law enforcement entities to that end.”

Brick is expected to be sentenced in June. He faces up to 2 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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