Delta sued for not taking action before drunk husband hit, killed his wife in Salt Lake airport parking lot - East Idaho News
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Delta sued for not taking action before drunk husband hit, killed his wife in Salt Lake airport parking lot

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SALT LAKE CITY (KSL.com)— The family of a woman who was killed after her husband hit her in the parking garage at the Salt Lake City International Airport has filed a lawsuit against Delta Air Lines.

The family claimed in the lawsuit that Delta served Charlotte Sturgeon’s husband too much alcohol, and did not ensure he was not going to drive after the plane landed in Salt Lake City.

They asked for money from Delta, claiming wrongful death and negligent infliction of emotional distress in the Jan. 19 lawsuit.

Delta said in a statement it disputes the claims in the legal complaint, but cannot give further comment while the legal action is pending.

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Shawn Christopher Sturgeon pleaded guilty to criminal automobile homicide while driving under the influence, a second-degree felony, and domestic violence in the presence of a child, a third-degree felony. He was sentenced in September 2022 to one to 15 years in prison for the homicide charge and zero to five years in prison for the domestic violence charge, which will be served consecutively.

Surveillance videos from April 4, 2022, show Sturgeon was arguing with his wife and yelling at her after they returned from vacation. He put their child in the car and began backing up before his wife was in the car. After running over her twice, both backward and forward, he put her in the car and drove to the payment booth asking for help.

In the lawsuit, Charlotte Sturgeon’s family said Shawn Sturgeon had consumed multiple alcoholic beverages before boarding the plane in San Antonio, Texas, and was served two more beverages with high alcohol content while on the plane.

RELATED | Husband ran over wife at Salt Lake airport, killing her after returning from vacation, police say

“Shawn was so intoxicated that he claims to have no memory of landing or walking through the Salt Lake City airport,” the complaint says.

The family claimed that Delta employees either knew, or should have known, that he was heavily intoxicated when he left the airplane, but did not take any steps to keep him from driving or inform law enforcement about his intoxication.

The legal filing said Delta was reckless and indifferent to the safety of others. The family asked for medical expenses, lost earnings, funeral costs, money for mental anguish and loss of companionship, as well as compensation for damages for the child who is now without a mother.

It was initially filed in Utah’s 3rd District Court, but Delta moved the case to federal court on Feb. 8, citing Delta headquarters is located in another state and the money at issue is enough to be decided in a federal court.

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