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PITTSBURGH Area woman sues airline



Published: Thu, July 11, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



The family is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder since the hijacking, according to the lawsuit.

By LAURE CIOFFI

VINDICATOR NEW CASTLE BUREAU

PITTSBURGH -- A New Castle woman injured in an attempted hijacking on a Royal Jordanian Airliner is suing the airline.

Abier B. Mansour and her children, Mary Ann and Daniel, were traveling on Flight RJ435 from Amman, Jordan, to Damascus, Syria, on July 5, 2000, when another passenger tried to divert the plane to Germany where he was seeking asylum.

As the hijacker stormed the cockpit, an airline security officer shot and killed the man, according to reports about the accident. A live grenade the hijacker was holding tumbled down the aisle and exploded.

Several people were injured including Mary Ann, who had shrapnel in her arm, and her mother with shrapnel in her legs, said Carmen Lamancusa, Mansour's New Castle attorney who filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

Lamancusa said other passengers have filed two lawsuits in the U.S. District Court for Northern Ohio in Cleveland on the same matter. He did not know the details of those lawsuits.

Mansour and her children were heading to Syria to visit her family for the first time in four years since she moved to New Castle and attained her American citizenship, a family member said shortly after the hijacking attempt.

She and her husband, Samir, whose family owns Mary's Bakery & amp; Restaurant in New Castle, live on East Long Avenue.

Lamancusa said in addition to the physical injuries, Abier Mansour and her children are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, which has become worse since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

"They see it [the Sept. 11 attacks] on television all the time, and they are having a hard time dealing with it," Lamancusa said.

Abier has been in and out of the hospital with various stress related ailments since the hijacking, her attorney said.

Her lawsuit contends that the airline failed to implement proper safety procedures because it allowed a man with a gun and a grenade to enter the plane and an airline employee to open fire during the pressurized airline flight, causing the hijacker's grenade to go off.

Lamancusa added that once the hijacker was dead, his body was deposited in the flight attendant's station where passengers had to pass by when exiting the plane.

The family is seeking the cost of medical expenses, Abier's lost wages and earning capacity, and Samir's loss of consortium with his wife.




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