A pair of Jet Blue pilots, as well as the airline itself, are being sued by two flight attendants who say the pilots drugged and raped them during a layover in Puerto Rico last year. According to the lawsuit, a pilot told one of the women, "Thank you for making my fantasy come true."
The lawsuit, filed earlier this week in the Eastern District Court, details how the two plaintiffs—identified as "Jane Doe #1" and "Jane Doe #2"— plus another flight attendant, met two pilots, Eric Johnson and Dan Watson, on a San Juan beach on May 9th. Johnson allegedly gave a can of beer one of the flight attendants, who shared it with the other women. "The beer was laced with a drug, and after that point, the rest of the night became a blur for Doe # 1, Doe # 2 and the other crewmember," the lawsuit says. "Plaintiff Doe # 1 did not remember when or how, but the group left the beach and headed back" to the Intercontinental Hotel. "Plaintiff, in a haze from being drugged, next became aware that she was in bed with Defendant Johnson and her fellow crewmembers."
While describing the rape in the lawsuit, the woman said also "felt the influence of the drug that Defendant Johnson laced the beer with," and she "was unable to react to the situation, but was simply aware that it was happening. Plaintiff’s flashes of memory included Defendant Johnson having sexual intercourse with the other crewmember who was also under the influence of the drugs." Johnson allegedly told her, "Thank you for making my fantasy come true."
After worrying that she might have been exposed to a sexually transmitted disease, the plaintiff got tested and found she had HPV; the lawsuit states that Johnson "intentionally gave" her HPV.
The lawsuit says the three women were were nauseous and vomiting throughout the night. The other plaintiff said that the pilots drugged her "and intended to rape" her, but "did not when [she] began vomiting which was a turnoff," according to the lawsuit, which notes that the third flight attendant said she was raped as well.
The two plaintiffs say they reported the incident to Jet Blue, but the company never put the pilots on leave or suspended them. Abe Melamed, an attorney for the flight attendants, told the NY Times, "The allegations in the complaint are obviously very serious and what happened to these women is horrific, but the bigger concern is how JetBlue handled it and the fact that no corrective action was taken."
Further, Melamed said, "One of the plaintiffs has continued to bump into one of the pilots and has an immediate visceral reaction and goes to the bathroom and vomits every time it happens. They feel like this is a large part of what airline culture is. It lends itself to these sorts of issues." The two women are suing for unspecified damages and legal fees.
A Jet Blue spokesperson told the Washington Post that while it cannot discuss pending litigation, they take "allegations of violent or inappropriate behavior very seriously and investigates such claims thoroughly... We work to create a respectful workplace for all our crewmembers where they feel welcome and safe."
No attorney information was listed for the pilots.