An Arizona man is suing American Airlines after he says he spent 17 days in a New Mexico jail, claiming the airline wrongly provided his name for a flight.
The lawsuit, filed Monday in Tarrant County District Court and obtained by USA TODAY, says Lowe boarded a flight to Reno, Nevada, at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport in May 2020.
But before the flight, an airport duty-free shop was robbed, according to the lawsuit.
After airport police obtained a search warrant ordering the airline to send the travel data of people who boarded the flight to Reno, the airline reportedly only sent the information of Lowe, according to the lawsuit first reported by the Fort Worth Star Telegram.
More than a year after his flight, Lowe was visiting friends in Tucumcari, New Mexico, according to the lawsuit. At a July 4 rally, police were asking attendees to provide their information after a disturbance. When officials took Lowe’s information, they saw two outstanding Tarrant County, Texas warrants against the man, which he says he was unaware of before his arrest.
Lowe was taken to a detention center in Quay County, New Mexico. The lawsuit said Lowe feared catching COVID-19 at the facility and in a “constant state of fear of confrontation or abuse.”
“We want everyone to be themselves”:Virgin Atlantic will allow employees to show tattoos
Border airlines:Mom gives birth during the flight with the help of a flight attendant
After eight days, Lowe said he was taken before a judge who “provided no
clarification regarding his arrest.” On the seventeenth day of his incarceration, he says he was released and discharged from the facility without any further information.
It took Lowe two days to get home to Flagstaff, Arizona. After calling Tarrant County authorities and the Airport Police Department, he discovered he had missed a court appearance and that American Airlines had provided information to law enforcement officials.
Police compared Lowe’s mugshot with surveillance footage of the burglary, and officials later dismissed the charges against Lowe.
Lowe in the lawsuit said he suffered emotional and psychological scars from the experience, as well as financial hardship in his work as a guide and professional outdoorsman.
The lawsuit accuses American Airlines of general negligence for allegedly identifying Lowe to authorities.
American Airlines said in a statement to USA TODAY that it is “reviewing the matter.”