Source – A Delta passenger who says he was mauled by an emotional support dog has filed a lawsuit against the airline and the dog’s owner, a Marine combat veteran.
In June 2017, Marlin Jackson claims he boarded a San Diego-bound flight in Atlanta headed for a work conference. Soon after, fellow passengers watched in horror as a dog attack played out in front of them.
Jackson sat in a window seat. In the middle seat was a Marine veteran was with an emotional support dog, a chocolate lab pointer mix, in his lap. According to a Jackson’s lawsuit, while he was securing his seat belt, “the animal began to growl.”
Jackson claims the dog’s owner, Ronald Mundy, reassured him that the dog was safe. But moments later, he said the dog lunged and bit Jackson several times in the face .
The lawsuit states the dog was briefly restrained, before pinning Jackson against the window and mauling Jackson again, resulting in 28 stitches and permanent loss of sensation in his face. He bled so profusely that “an entire row of seats had to be removed.” …
Delta now requires proof of training, adding rules for the types and ages of the animals, as well the duration of flights that allow emotional support animals.
God knows the court system is a clogged toilet stopped up with the Sewer Trout of a billion frivolous lawsuits. And to know me is to know that in 999,999 cases out of a million, I’m going to take the side of the combat Marine veteran in whatever he’s involved in. And in general I’m no fan of rules and regulations. This is the exception. This is the 180-degree polar opposite of frivolous. And if there’s any justice left in this world, Marlin Jackson will win his case, get money from Delta, and finally bring some sanity to this Comfort Animal madness once and for all.
I can’t say this strongly enough: We’ve got to do whatever we can to help servicemen with legitimate trauma. If a guy who’s carrying the scars (visible and invisible) from the horrors of war he sustained protecting me and you can get some inner peace from petting a chocolate lab pointer, by all means let’s give it to him.
But there is nothing in life so noble that in 2019, someone won’t take it to the ridiculous extreme. To exploit the exception we’re all willing to make for the people who put their lives, health and sanity on the line for our protection. So passenger planes that won’t let you take a bottle of water or a full sized tube of toothpaste are now Noah’s fucking Ark. Dogs. Cats. Rabbits. Trailer trash that have never been closer to combat than watching a marathon of “Parking Wars” bringing actual pigs on board a pressurized aluminum tube other human beings will spend hours trapped in at 30,000 feet. A couple of years ago I was making a cross country flight with the Irish Rose and was going to give her the aisle seat as a show of my selflessness and devotion. Until we got to our row and sitting across from her was a 20-year-old holding a wingless bat that may have vaguely been some dog species, its soulless bug eyes staring at my beloved, her pet allergies be damned. What trauma that girl has gone through that made another paying passenger have to suffer is something only she knows. But I can guarantee it wasn’t being in some war zone watching buddies die in her arms from an IED.
All I’m asking for is some sanity. Make that demanding. The last thing I want is a combat veteran losing what little money they have, which is an infinitesimal fraction of what they earned. But for the love of God, it is too much to ask that we draw the line somewhere? Make it only licensed dogs with formal training, like they do with Seeing Eye dogs? Can we insist that they are only for combat veterans or the blind? Can we have them fly muzzled, since their right to have an animal with teeth should end where the next passenger’s face begins? Because right now it’s the Wild West up there. To the point I’m ready to take a flight just to see if I can get a Comfort Llama or an Emotional Support Dominatrix on board with me, to prove a point.
Best wishes to Ronald Mundy and thanks for his service and sacrifice. And I hope he doesn’t have to reach into his own pocket. But beyond that, I hope Marlin Jackson takes so much out of Delta that the airlines get the fear of God scared into them and start putting human beings first again.