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JetBlue passenger alleges severe burns due to scalding hot tea served amid turbulence


(NEW YORK) — A passenger is seeking $1.5 million in damages from JetBlue after she allegedly sustained severe burns from “scalding hot” tea served during a period of turbulence, according to a complaint.

According to the complaint, filed on June 24, the “dangerously hot cup of tea” was allegedly served to Tahjana Lewis while there was “ongoing turbulence” with the “fasten seat belt” sign turned on. The complaint claims this decision was “dangerous and hazardous” given the conditions at the time.

The alleged incident occurred on May 15 aboard Flight 2237 traveling from Orlando, Florida, to Hartford, Connecticut, according to the complaint. Lewis, the plaintiff, claimed she was seated in the row directly behind the passenger who ordered the drink on this flight, the complaint states.

Lewis reportedly suffered from “severe” and “disfiguring” burns on her upper chest, breasts, legs, left buttocks and right arm, with “disfigurement and scarring on all five burn-affected regions,” according to the complaint.

“That’s gross negligence,” Lewis’ attorney, Edward Jazlowiecki, told ABC News regarding JetBlue’s purported decision to serve drinks during what he called “serious” turbulence. “Absolutely gross negligence.”

JetBlue did not immediately respond to ABC News’ requests for comment.

The complaint claims that JetBlue served this beverage “at a temperature that was unreasonably and dangerously hot beyond what is accepted in the food service industry or airline industry.”

Jazlowiecki also said JetBlue “should have done something to assuage [Lewis’] pain.” He claimed the crew did not ask if there were doctors on board, didn’t divert or make an emergency landing, and that they “didn’t offer her much help until she got off the plane.”

According to Jazlowiecki, Lewis experienced second-degree and possibly third-degree burns, and she will likely have to get skin grafting. He said she went to the emergency room immediately after the flight and consulted a skin specialist.

In addition to becoming “sore and partially disabled,” the complaint claims that Lewis became limited in her ability to work and suffered from emotional damages.

Jazlowiecki also said Lewis was traveling alone with her 5-year-old daughter and that this incident was “extremely traumatic” for the child to witness.

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