Virginia woman sues airline over spilled coffee

FILE- In this Jan. 15, 2015 file photo, the new Airbus A 350 of Qatar Airways coming from Doha, Qatar, approaches the gate at the airport in Frankfurt, Germany. Qatar Airways announced Friday, Jan. 30, 2015, that it has bought nearly 10 percent of the parent company of British Airways and Spain's Iberia, deepening wealthy Qatar's business ties to Europe and intensifying competition with the airline's fast-growing Gulf rivals. (AP Photo/Michael Probst-file)

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A Virginia Beach woman is seeking $850,000 from Qatar Airways and is demanding a jury trial, claiming she suffered significant burns from spilled coffee during a flight in January.

A lawsuit filed earlier this month accuses the company of being negligent in providing no care for the woman, Zahra Azizkhani.

Azizkhani reportedly a ticket from Virginia to Tehran, Iran for a flight scheduled on Jan. 12, in order to visit the country for the first time in years.

During the flight, Azizkhani ordered coffee from a flight attendant, and reportedly dropped and spilled the coffee onto her lap. The coffee was “scalding hot” and burned Azizkhani’s stomach, according to the lawsuit.

The suit claims Azizkhani suffered a significant burn across her stomach and was “immediately in extreme pain.” The flight attendant did not offer to help her, according to the lawsuit.

Azizkhani told a supervisor what happened at her connecting flight at Doha International Airport in Qatar. The supervisor reportedly saw Azizkhani’s burns and told her to not let her clothes touch the burn area.

Azizkhani told them she was going to Tehran, would not be allowed to have her stomach exposed because the city’s strict laws. The lawsuit states Azizkhani did not receive anymore medical treatment from the company.

She also reportedly had trouble entering Iran, was held at the airport for two hours and was accused of purposefully doing something to her passport to cause it to fade.

The lawsuit calls Qatar’s “willful, wanton and careless disregard” for Azizkhani’s health “outrageous and offensive to the community standards.”

Azizkhani is seeking a jury trial as well as $500,000 in compensatory damages and $350,000 in punitive damages.

8News affiliate WAVY spoke with Azizkhani’s lawyer, Barry Taylor, who says she has a permanent scar from the ordeal. He went onto say that Azizkhani was in Iran for her aunt’s funeral, who he says was like her mother. Azizkhani says she could go to the funeral, but was not able to attend family events in Iran due to her severe pain.

The lawyers for Qatar Airlines just filed a notice to remove the matter from city court to federal court. 10 On Your Side reached out to the lawyer, but we have not heard back.

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