Woman Wins $27.5 Million in Racial Profile Suit Against Southwest Airlines

April 13, 2006

A Texas jury awarded $27.5 million (euro22.72 million) in damages to a woman of Iranian descent who said she was racially profiled when Southwest Airlines Co. accused her of assaulting a flight attendant.

Samantha Carrington of Santa Barbara, California, won her case Friday after suing the Dallas-based airline for false imprisonment and malicious prosecution. Federal authorities arrested her in 2003 after her Houston-to-Los Angeles flight made a scheduled stop in El Paso. She was never charged with a crime.

According to court records, three flight attendants said Carrington, a naturalized citizen from Iran, became verbally abusive, grabbed a flight attendant’s arm and threatened to go to the cockpit if the captain was not summoned.

Carrington, 54, said that the flight attendants were lying and that she was the one mistreated.

“In the evidence it came out that one of the flight attendants stated that Ms. Carrington reminded her of a terrorist, and in our views she was the victim of profiling stereotypes and discrimination,” her lawyer, Enrique Moreno, told the El Paso Times.

Southwest will appeal the verdict, a spokeswoman said.

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Latest Comments

  • August 22, 2010 at 5:17 am
    Meschelle says:
    With great sadness I must post racism is alive in the corporate world. I was travelling back from the east coast into SFO and the buzz was about a black female southwest emplo... read more
  • July 12, 2010 at 4:45 am
    jim says:
    the local police have been doing this for years, you walk on the sidewalk in the city & the police start asking you questions pertaing to, going?, been?, got drugs?,drinking? ... read more
  • August 26, 2008 at 12:28 pm
    killerofevildooers says:
    The evil flight attendants have gotten way out of hand these days and since the FBI has their ear they will make up anything about anyone to get back at them for complain abou... read more
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