American Airlines faces lawsuit for losing dead woman’s body

A man from Ecuador is suing American Airlines, alleging the carrier misplaced the remains of his dead wife for four days.

On April 1, Miguel Olaya, 60, says he made arrangements for the body of his late wife, who died of cancer, to be shipped to his hometown of Guayaquil. But when he went to meet the AA plane at the airport the coffin was no on board.

What follows, according to the Associated Press, is a back-and-forth between Olaya and AA in which he got a lot of different stories about what happened.

“First they didn’t know where her body was. Then they said maybe it was in Miami and finally they said it was in Guatemala,” a lawyer for Olaya tells the AP. “Instead of sending it on the flight to Guayaquil, American sent the body to Guatemala City.”

The remains of Olaya’s wife turned up four days later. “The body was missing for four days,” the lawyer says.

AA is not commenting, saying it is investigating Olaya’s allegations.

In the lawsuit Olaya filed last week, he also names the DeRiso Funeral Home in Brooklyn as a defendant. Olaya says the funeral home mishandled the body and had a hand in the AA mix-up. Also, Olaya says when his wife’s remains finally did show up in Ecuador, they were badly decomposed because they had not been properly embalmed.

Olaya is seeking unspecified damages.