A disabled St. Louis man is suing American Airlines for compensation after the airline allegedly lost his $26,000 prosthetic leg during a 2020 flight. The incident occurred as Michael Williams was flying back to St. Louis from Indianapolis, according to FOX 2.
“Dealing with a prosthetic leg is not as easy as people think it is,” Williams said. “You can’t do this to somebody that’s disabled. Just say, ‘Hey, we lost something of yours, but we’re not going to pay for it,’” he added.
Prior to boarding the flight, Williams said he put his “special-made leg” in his suitcase and also put a “sticker on it that says ‘fragile.” “I gave it to the young lady at American Airlines when I was checking in. When I get to St. Louis airport, they roll me downstairs to baggage claim. I’m sitting there waiting for my luggage to come off, and never comes off,” he recalled.
Following the incident, Williams stated that he filed a claim explaining what had gone missing and followed all of American Airlines’ standards for delayed or damaged luggage claims. He claimed the corporation then sent him a $600 reimbursement check.
“When I spoke with the young lady that was handling the claim, she told me this was to cover the clothes that you lost. I was like, ‘Ok, fine, great,” he recalled.
However, when he reached out to the airline company some weeks later to ask about compensation for his prosthetic leg, Williams said a representative told him they weren’t going to pay for the leg because they “don’t have enough proof or evidence to pay for the leg.”
Williams has since hired an attorney to look into the case, FOX 2 reported. He says the missing prosthetic leg cost him $26,650, adding that it also fit him perfectly. “When you find the one that works, that’s the one you want to hold onto,” Williams said.
He also said he hopes American Airlines would review its earlier decision and compensate him for losing his prosthetic leg. “It’s to the point where I don’t want to fly. I feel like if I fly again, what if I have to fly with my wheelchair and they lose my wheelchair this time,” said Williams. “And they tell me we lost your power wheelchair, but hey, we’re not going to do anything about it. It’s like, what do you do?”
American Airlines is yet to respond to FOX 2 after the news outlet contacted the company about Williams’ missing prosthetic leg.