Woman Sues US Airways to Get Answers on Loss of Husband’s Ashes
(PHILADELPHIA) — Angeline O’Grady boarded a US Airways flight two years ago to scatter her husband’s ashes in England after the 71-year-old passed away from cancer.
The airline didn’t lose her bag but, O’Grady claims, they lost her husband’s remains.
She said she asked the airline what happened but never got an adequate answer. So, she said, she asked again — and again. Then her lawyer asked.
Now, she’s suing.
“She’s extremely frustrated,” said O’Grady’s lawyer, Bill Goldman Jr. “We’re seeking accountability and responsibility from US Airways in order to find out why they’ve made no attempt to explain how this happened. It’s about justice for the deceased.”
Goldman told ABC News that the airline has ignored his and O’Grady’s requests for an investigation into the November 2011 flight from Philadelphia to England.
The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in Philadelphia’s Common Pleas Court. According to the suit, O’Grady is seeking $200,000, plus damages and other costs, for breach of contract, bailment, negligence and intentional infliction of mental distress.
Goldman added that he hoped the lawsuit would finally get the attention of US Airways because the item lost is one that can never be replaced.
“US Airways, rather than Mr. and Mrs. O’Grady, has had the last word in determining Mr. O’Grady’s final resting place,” the lawsuit read. “He is not at peace.”
US Airways said it was not at fault in the loss of the ashes.
“While we certainly send our condolences to Mrs. O’Grady, US Airways’ investigation into this matter did not uncover any information indicating that US Airways is responsible for this unfortunate incident,” Todd Lehmacher, a spokesman for US Airways, told ABC News in a written statement. “We, of course, will defend ourselves against the suit.”
O’Grady first encountered problems back on Nov. 1, 2011 at the security line when TSA made her check the urn after she was planning on carrying it on, Goldman told ABC News. TSA agents told her the “contents were not a solid substance.”
“When my client was sent back to the US Airways ticketing counter to check her bag carrying Mr. O’Grady’s ashes, she was told that her seat was given away because she was now running late and the airline forced her to buy a $500 business class ticket,” said Goldman.
It wasn’t until O’Grady arrived in Hull, England, and opened her suitcase that she realized the urn was gone. She immediately called her son back home to file a complaint with the airline.
“All of their relatives in England were gathered in Hull for Brian O’Grady’s ceremony, planning to scatter his ashes where his mother was cremated five months earlier. Mrs. O’Grady was unable to fulfill her husband’s wishes,” said her lawyer.
When O’Grady arrived back stateside, she contacted US Airways for answers but, according to her lawyer, never received an explanation.
O’Grady could not be reached for comment because she was in England visiting her deceased husband’s sister.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio