Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell Wins Defense Verdict for American Airlines for Incident in Japan


MIAMI, FL – American Airlines, Inc. has been cleared of liability by a jury in the case of a woman who sued claiming a back injury after falling while waiting in a check-in line.

Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell Attorneys, Gregory M. Palmer and Marty Fulgueira Elfenbein represented American Airlines in the case which was filed in the District Court for the Southern District of Florida. 

As part of her return home to Florida, the Plaintiff, Lorna Beach-Mathura, was waiting at the American Airlines check-in line at the Narita Airport in Japan. While in line, she told another passenger she was having difficulty standing. The passenger then asked an American Airlines agent whether a wheelchair could be brought to the Plaintiff. According to the Plaintiff, when she attempted to sit in the wheelchair, it rolled backwards, causing her to fall to the ground and land on her buttocks. Immediately thereafter, the Plaintiff began experiencing pain and discomfort.

However, American Airlines denied liability, claiming the Plaintiff had no evidence regarding how the incident occurred other than Plaintiff’s own self-serving testimony. She could neither identify the person who brought the wheelchair as an American Airlines agent or provide any evidence that the wheelchair brakes were not in the locked position.

Rumberger, Kirk and Caldwell partner, Gregory M. Palmer represents clients in general aviation litigation, commercial litigation and employment disputes.  His practice also includes the defense of professional liability claims, general casualty matters, product liability cases and construction litigation. Palmer and Elfenbein work out of the firm’s Miami office. 



Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell provides litigation and counseling services in a wide range of civil practice areas including product liability, commercial litigation, construction, intellectual property litigation, environmental, labor and employment law, insurance coverage, professional liability and administrative law. Offices are located in Orlando, Tampa, Miami, Tallahassee and Birmingham, Alabama. For more information, please visit

© Rumberger Kirk & Caldwell Attorneys At Law Web site hosted on the FirmWise platform