Judge orders Alaska Airlines to pay $3.19 million to family of Hawaii woman after her death

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) — A judge has ordered a Alaska Airlines to pay millions to the family of a former Hawaii woman.

[Hawaii news on the go–LISTEN to KHON 2GO weekday mornings at 7:30 a.m.]

Bernice Kekona died after a tragic fall at a mainland airport that was caught on video

In 2017, Kekona fell down an escalator while in her wheelchair at Portland International airport.

She had just gotten off a plane after a month-long visit with family on Maui.

The 75-year-old suffered head and chest injuries, and a leg wound which led to an infection that killed her.

Kekona’s family sued Alaska Airlines and an airport contractor alleging the companies did not properly provide gate-to-gate service that the family requested.

A judge sided with the family ordering the airline to pay more than $3 million on Monday, Feb. 22. 2021.

“I think the family is really happy because it validated their belief that they did everything they could for their mom and their grandmother,” said Robert Gellatly, the family’s attorney. “It was a tragic failure but it was compounded by Alaska’s insistence it was not their fault, and it really was.”

Alaska Airlines issued this statement:

We’re disappointed in the ruling and are evaluating next steps. There is no more important responsibility than the safety and wellbeing of our guests, whether they’re in our care or the care of a vendor.

Alaska Airlines

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