Alaska Airlines ordered to pay $3.2M to the family of grandmother, 75, who died after escalator fall


Alaska Airlines has been ordered to pay $3.19 million to the family of a 75-year-old passenger who suffered a fatal accident at Portland International Airport back in June 2017.

The family of the grandmother, Bernice Kekona, sued that Alaska Airlines failed to ensure she received the gate-to-gate transportation the family requested and confirmed multiple times.

Kekona was travelling home from Hawaii to Spokane, Washington, and arrived at Portland for a connecting flight to Spokane. But, there was a miscommunication between Alaska Airlines and its contractor at Portland Airport.

She was forced to transport herself upon arrival. While doing so, she fell down the escalator while in her wheelchair; she was left with multiple injuries, including an Achilles tendon injury. She sadly died soon due to the infection.

This month, after a trial in King County Superior Court, a jury found Alaska violated the Air Carrier Access Act, and the Seattle-based carrier was deemed “90% responsible” for her fatal injuries.

In a statement on Tuesday, the airline said:

“We’re disappointed in the ruling and are evaluating the 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.”

Feature Image: “Ingrid Barrentine”