Charles Krupa, Associated Press
In this May 24, 2018, file photo a Delta Air Lines passenger jet plane, a Boeing 717-200 model, approaches Logan Airport in Boston. Delta is partnering with a pet travel pod startup, as it changes its prices and policy for transporting passengers' animal companions, the airline announced Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2019.

SALT LAKE CITY — A Delta Airlines passenger is suing Delta alleging that an emotional support dog mauled his face on a flight from Atlanta to San Diego.

  • Marlin Jackson, who flew from San Diego to Atlanta in June 2017, said a chocolate Labrador-pointer mix attacked him, pinning him to a window seat. In the lawsuit, Jackson said he received 28 stitches from the alleged attack, according to BBC News.
  • The lawsuit said that Jackson bled "so profusely that the entire row of seats had to be removed" from the flight. The incident allegedly occurred when Jackson was putting his seatbelt on, according to the lawsuit.
  • "The attack was briefly interrupted when the animal was pulled away from Mr. Jackson. However, the animal broke free and again mauled Mr. Jackson's face,” according to the lawsuit.
  • Jackson’s lawsuit claims negligence from Delta and that Delta "took no action to verify or document the behavioral training" of the dog.
  • As The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported, “the suit alleges Delta was negligent by allowing a passenger on board with a large dog without any verification of training or proper restraints to protect others, and not warning others of the dangers of unsecured animals on its plane so they could protect themselves. It also alleges Delta failed to require a kennel for the dog or failed to verify that the dog as an emotional support animal was trained and met the same requirements as a service animal.”

Statement: A representative from Delta released a statement to The Huffington Post.

  • "Delta continuously reviews and enhances its policies and procedures for animals onboard as part of its commitment to health, safety and protecting the rights of customers with disabilities. In 2018, Delta tightened its policies on emotional support animals by requiring a 'confirmation of animal training' form as well as other official documentation. The airline also banned pit bulls and animals under four months of age as service or support animals. These policy updates reinforce Delta’s core value of putting safety first, always.”
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Flashback: Delta acknowledged the 2017 attack when the company banned “pit bull type dogs” as service and support animals back in June 2018, according to Forbes.

Representatives of Jackson told The Huffington Post that they are aware Delta changed their policy. But, they said, Delta should have done more when the incident occurred.

“The attack on Mr. Jackson would not have happened had Delta enforced their own pre-existing policies concerning animals in the cabin,” the attorneys wrote in a statement to Huffington Post.