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AirTran sued over cockroaches on flight

By A. Pawlowski, CNN
updated 2:32 PM EST, Tue November 15, 2011
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Couple alleges cockroaches crawled out of air vents and overhead bins during flight
  • Lawsuit seeks more than $100,000 plus the price of their tickets
  • AirTran denies most of the allegations in response to the complaint

(CNN) -- You've heard of snakes on a plane, now here come bugs on a plane.

A North Carolina couple is suing AirTran Airways, alleging that cockroaches crawled out of air vents and overhead carry-on bins during a flight from Charlotte to Houston in September.

Attorney Harry Marsh and his fiancé Kaitlin Rush say the insects appeared soon after takeoff, and when Marsh pointed them out to flight attendants, they did nothing to help.

"These roaches and other pests caused great distress to a number of passengers throughout the flight," the complaint states.

All paying guests of the airline are entitled to "clean, pest-free" accommodations, it goes to to say.

The couple accuses AirTran of negligence and recklessness, infliction of emotional distress, nuisance, false imprisonment and unfair and deceptive trade practices, and is suing for more than $100,000 plus the price of their tickets.

Harry Marsh and his fiancé Kaitlin Rush say the cockroaches made them sick.
Harry Marsh and his fiancé Kaitlin Rush say the cockroaches made them sick.

In a response to the complaint filed with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, AirTran denies most of the allegations.

CNN legal analyst Sunny Hostin predicted the case would never go to trial.

"This is a case that's going to settle. Bottom line, I foresee a lot of free flights for this couple if they want to get back on AirTran," Hostin said.

"It's certainly not a pretty picture. The roaches were out long enough for them to take video and photographs, so that's exhibit A."

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