NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The husband of an obese Bronx woman who died from kidney failure in her native Hungary has filed a lawsuit against two airlines claiming his wife was forced off of three flights because of her weight.
Vilma Soltesz and her husband Janos flew to Hungary on vacation in September as they did nearly every year.
The couple had booked two seats for Soltesz on her return flight to New York last month but Delta and KLM airlines said they couldn’t accommodate her because of her size.
The 56-year-old woman, who weighed 425 pounds, suffered from kidney disease and diabetes.
“I think there’s something wrong,” attorney Peter Ronai said. “They took on the responsibility to get her to Hungary, it’s their responsibility to get her back. I don’t understand how she makes it there but she can’t come back. It’s completely illogical to me.”
Soltesz was apparently given the run around for nine days trying to find a flight home so she could resume her medical treatment.
“She was first waiting in the airport for five hours, they then told her they wouldn’t accept her on the plane but that she should drive to Prague. She drove to Prague and they put her on the seat and they couldn’t belt her in so the captain came out of the cockpit and made her get off,” Ronai said.
By the time the couple found a flight that would accept Soltesz it was too late.
“They finally found a flight in Vienna,” Ronai said. “Her husband went in to get her but she had already passed away in the bedroom.”
In a statement, Delta said the airlines were “physically unable to board” Soltesz.
“Delta and KLM did everything possible to assist the family,” the statement read. ” When KLM was unable to safely board Mrs. Soltesz in Budapest, it was determined she might be able to fly on the larger Delta aircraft out of Prague, but unfortunately that was not the case. Our records indicate Delta staff in Prague made repeated attempts for nearly an hour to board the customer, but they were unable to get her onboard the aircraft.”
Janos Soltesz is suing the airlines for $6 million.