New York Civil Rights Violation Lawyer Comments on American Airlines’ Refusal to Let Boy with Down Syndrome on Plane

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New York civil rights violation lawyer David Perecman from The Perecman Firm comments on American Airlines’ decision to bar a teen with Down Syndrome from a flight. Airline employees had labeled him a “flight risk.”

New York civil rights violation lawyer

The Perecman Firm

Airline employees cannot make assumptions about people with disabilities.

In a story of interest to New York civil rights violation lawyers at The Perecman Firm and other defenders of civil rights, American Airlines barred a teenager with Down syndrome and his family from boarding a cross-county flight.

Bede Vanderhorst and his parents were waiting to board a plane in Newark, New Jersey when they were informed that they could not get on. The airline cited their pilot's assertion that the child's behavior presented a safety risk, reported CNN (9/5/2012).

Video taken by the boy’s mother at the time of the incident showed Bede sitting quietly and playing with his hat, according to CNN.

New York civil rights lawyer David Perecman, founder of the The Perecman Firm, recommends that the family look into the Air Carrier Access Act which prohibits discrimination in air transportation.

“Airlines may not refuse transportation to people on the basis of physical or mental impairments,” said Perecman.

The family later boarded a United Airlines flight without incident.

"Airline employees cannot make assumptions about people with disabilities. If a person presents a direct health or safety threat, an airline can refuse to let that person on the plane. What an airline cannot do is refuse boarding if a disabled person poses no threat," explained David Perecman, a civil rights violation attorney in New York for over 30 years.

Individuals who believe they have been victims of a New York civil rights violation including disability discrimination can contact The Perecman Firm at 212-977-7033.

About David Perecman and The Perecman Firm, PLLC:

For the past 30 years, the New York civil rights violation, medical malpractice, construction accident, and auto accident lawyers at The Perecman Firm, PLLC have handled all types of cases including race discrimination and religious harassment. David Perecman, founder of the Firm, has been recognized for his achievements as an Honoree in the National Law Journal's Hall of Fame, in New York Magazine's "The Best Lawyers in America" and The New York Times Magazine "New York Super Lawyers, Metro Edition" for the years 2007-2010. The prestigious U.S. News & World Report ranks The Perecman Firm among the top 20 personal injury firms in New York City for 2011-2012.

The Firm has recovered millions of dollars for its clients. Among the more recent victories, Mr. Perecman won a $15 million verdict** for a construction accident (Index 112370/03), a $5.35 million dollar verdict*** for an automobile accident (Index 2749/04), and a $40 million dollar structured settlement for medical malpractice (Index 2146/03)****.

The Perecman Firm serves Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Long Island, Westchester, Upstate NY, Morris County, and Rockland County.

**later settled while on appeal for $7.940 million    
*** later settled for $3.5 million
**** total potential payout

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"Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome."

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Sherry Ishak
The Perecman Firm
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