Delta Airline Aircraft Ascending into Blue Sky

photo credit: Jennifer May

Man attacked by veteran's support dog sues over negligence

May 29, 2019 - 12:51 pm

An Alabama man who was attacked by a veteran's emotional support animal while on a Delta Air Lines flight from Atlanta to San Diego is now suing the airline and the veteran.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Tuesday that Marlin Jackson is accusing the defendants of negligence.

The lawsuit says it happened as the flight was boarding in June 2017. Jackson was in a window seat and the dog was next to him, in the lap of veteran Ronald Kevin Mundy Jr. The attack left Jackson's face permanently scarred.

The lawsuit says Delta didn't verify the dog was trained or met the requirements of a service animal. A police report says the Marine Corps veteran's dog was a chocolate lab pointer mix.

Since the attack, airlines have tightened up their policies for emotional support animals.

Related: What  you should know if you're traveling with a support animal

Delta and United Airlines now require passengers traveling with emotional support animals to submit proper documentation certifying the animal is properly trained.  Delta has banned pit bulls and puppies as support animals, and now the airline doesn't allow support animals on flights longer than eight hours. Southwest now limits the type of support animal to one dog or one car per customer.

In May 2018, the U.S. Department of Transportation began taking public comments as it considers updating regulations regarding emotional support or service animals on airplanes.

Related: Register your service animal for travel 

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