KAL flight attendant’s suit targets airline, Cho

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KAL flight attendant’s suit targets airline, Cho

A flight attendant who was harassed by a former Korean Air Lines vice president in what became known as the nut rage case filed a civil lawsuit against the airline and the executive.

Kim Do-hee, the flight attendant, is seeking compensation through a trial in New York after she was verbally and physically attacked by Cho Hyun-ah, according to a statement on Wednesday by two American law firms, the Weinstein Law Firm and Kobre & Kim.

Cho, a vice president overseeing cabin service at the time of the Dec. 5 incident, was enraged that Kim served her macadamia nuts in a bag, not on a dish.

After a heated confrontation with crew in the first class cabin, Cho ordered head flight attendant Park Chang-jin off the plane, forcing it to return to a gate at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

It is the first civil lawsuit connected with the nut rage case, which infuriated South Koreans and hogged global headlines. Last month a Korean court sentenced Cho, 40, to one year in prison for violating aviation security laws, using violence against a flight attendant and other charges.

The summons filed Monday with the Supreme Court of the State of New York County of Queens said Cho screamed obscenities at Kim and hit and threatened her.

She was also pressured to lie to government investigators to cover up the incident, the summons said.

Kim is seeking compensatory damages and punitive damages in an amount to be determined at the trial.

Kim was unable to resolve the dispute privately, and both Korean Air and Cho did not engage in “any substantive” settlement discussions with Kim’s lawyers, the statement said. Cho will be held responsible for the damage that she has caused to Kim’s career, reputation, and emotional well-being, it said.

Korean Air Lines did not respond to a request for comment.

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