Jury to hear American Airlines flight attendant’s sexual assault case
Judge Kimberly Fitzpatrick’s ruling rejects all portions of a motion for summary judgment filed by American that sought to avoid allowing a jury to hear the case.
The case is set for trial in her 342nd Judicial District Court January 24, 2022.
Kimberly Goesling’s lawsuit includes claims of sexual assault, conspiracy and retaliation.
An American Airlines flight attendant who says she was sexually assaulted by a celebrity chef hired by the airline will get the chance to tell her story to a jury, following a key ruling by a Tarrant County district court judge.
The ruling, by Judge Kimberly Fitzpatrick, rejects all portions of a motion for summary judgment filed by American Airlines that sought to avoid allowing a jury to hear the case. The case is set for trial in her 342nd Judicial District Court January 24.
“Our belief has always been that when a jury in Fort Worth hears this case and they hear what happened to my client – and how American ignored her and then retaliated against her – they will be appalled,” says attorney Robert Miller of Miller Bryant LLP in Dallas, who represents the plaintiff. “All we have ever wanted is a chance to tell our story to a jury and now we have that chance.”
The plaintiff in the case, Kimberly Goesling of Fort Worth, first publicly told the story of what happened to her – and American’s role in it – in a 2021 Facebook and Instagram video that has reached more than 25,000 people.
Ms. Goesling, a nearly 30-year flight attendant for American Airlines, has a work record that puts her among the company’s best. She was a flight crew leader and worked on the airline’s recruitment and training teams. More than once, she received glowing reviews for work performance, often resulting in special assignments.
In January 2018, one such trip took her to Germany, where along with other American Airlines employees, she helped develop a special international menu for first- and business-class passengers.
Also on the trip was a celebrity chef whom American hired without a background check and continued to employ even after it learned of prior allegations against him for alcohol abuse and inappropriate sexual conduct, according to the lawsuit. On the final night of the group’s stay, the chef forced his way into Ms. Goesling’s hotel room and sexually assaulted her. American’s own investigation later showed he admitted to the attack.
When she reported the attack to the company, managers promised to pay Ms. Goesling for treatment and allow her time away from work shifts, as needed. They did neither, instead removing her from her coveted position on the airline’s recruitment team.
Her lawsuit includes claims of sexual assault, conspiracy and retaliation. The case is Kimberly Goesling v. American Airlines et al., Cause No. 342-314565-20 in the 342nd Judicial District Court in Tarrant County.