Disabled doctor sues Fly 540 after being kicked out of Nairobi flight
A disabled passenger who claimed she was barred from boarding a Fly 540 flight has now sued the airline, citing discrimination for failing to provide equipment for persons with disabilities.
Agnes Nyaga has filed a petition in the High Court claiming the pilot of a Fly 540 plane declined to let her onboard, and shouted at her in a humiliating manner. She is seeking compensation for alleged defamation.
Dr Nyaga says she was forced to spend the night at the airport after missing the flight to Nairobi.
She also says that Fly 540 defamed her through a press release which claimed that she refused assistance and even got physical when the pilot, only identified as Captain Mwaisaka, tried to help her board the aircraft.
In its response to the suit, Fly 540 insists that Dr Nyaga declined help from male employees including the pilot. Fly 540 adds that a female employee attempted to help Dr Nyaga up the stairs during which time the doctor slipped and fell.
Dr Nyaga says she only pushed Captain Mwaisaka away after the pilot began shouting at her and invading her personal space.
The doctor insists that she begged the pilot to allow some male employees to help her board the plane, but that Captain Mwaisaka refused.
“The pilot came down from the top of the staircase and shouted saying it was going to take over 40 minutes to get me up the stairs and that I should be carried down and wait until everybody else had boarded.”
OBNOXIOUS AND INVASIVE
“I was placed and strapped on the special chair for persons with disabilities but what followed was an exchange between the pilot and myself as he continued to shout at me which necessitated me to push him away as he was being deliberately obnoxious and invasive. He then told me that he had decided that I would not board the plane, leaving me greatly humiliated,” Dr Nyaga says.
Diana Achieng’ Kobala, a Fly 540 employee, however, says that while trying to help, she found Dr Nyaga to be forceful and abrasive.
Ms Kobala holds that she tried following Dr Nyaga’s instructions on how to help her up the aircraft’s stairs.
“In an attempt to get up the stairs with me hoisting her up, she slipped and in the process stamped on my fingers. She was dictating how she was to be helped up the stairs. Her avulsion to men was quite evident and was clear when Captain Mwaisaka also came to help in putting her on board and attempted to hold her. She got so angry and chased him away,” Ms Kobala holds.
Dr Nyaga wants Justice Louis Onguto to find that Fly 540’s failure to provide special equipment to assist people with disabilities is discriminatory.