Family of Gaby Assouline filing wrongful death suit against Southwest

The family of a disabled Florida woman who died Sunday after falling down a Southwest Airlines jetway last year is filing a wrongful death suit against the company, The Post has learned.

Gaby Assouline, 25, who suffered from a genetic muscle disorder, was “thrown” from her wheelchair after employees allegedly refused to help push her down a gateway bridge after she requested aid.

Assouline landed on her head, causing severe injuries that left her paralyzed from the neck down, according to her shattered relatives, and after 11 bedridden months in a hospital, she passed away on Sunday.

“What was a negligence case will now become a wrongful death suit,” her attorney Robert Solomon told The Post Thursday. “Gaby did everything right here, and now the family is mourning her death.”

Assouline was traveling from the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Florida to see her sister in Denver last February when the tragedy occurred.

Gaby Assouline was “thrown” from her wheelchair after Southwest employees allegedly refused to help push her down a gateway bridge.
Gaby Assouline was “thrown” from her wheelchair after Southwest employees allegedly refused to help push her down a gateway bridge.
Gaby Assouline died Sunday after falling from a wheelchair on a jet bridge last year.
Gaby Assouline died after spending 11 months in the hospital.
Family Handout

Her parents had previously sued Southwest for negligence, hoping to recoup costs associated with Assouline’s multi-million dollar medical bill and other costs related to the injury. The attorney said he is now amending that suit and resubmitting it.

Expecting her to eventually return home, her mother, Sandra Assouline, had spent sizable sums of money to prepare her residence to accommodate Gaby’s special needs, Solomon said.

The lawyer added the airline has maintained Assouline declined help, and that they are not at fault in the case.

Gaby Assouline and her father Felix.
Gaby Assouline and her father Felix Assouline.

“Southwest has crossed their arms and are blaming Gaby,” he said. “She fought for 11 months. Her family fought for 11 months. Now I’m going to fight on their behalf.”

Solomon asserted that staffing shortfalls and scheduling issues at the airline led to their inability to accommodate Assouline’s request.

“You have a family that was fulling expecting her to come home,” he said. “But there were complications, and now they are sitting shiva.”

The airline addressed Assouline’s death in a statement this week.

Gaby Assouline remained bedridden for 11 months before dying.
Gaby Assouline’s GoFundMe page claims she cracked her vertebrae in the fall and required a feeding tube.

“Southwest offers its sincere condolences to Ms. Assouline’s family, friends and all whose lives she touched,” it read. “We have a more than 51-year commitment to caring for our People and Customers and remain engaged with the parties involved.”

The airline did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the wrongful death suit.

Solomon said he expects depositions to begin shortly, along with an inspection of the area in the airport where the accident occurred.

“Gaby was a meticulous woman, a college graduate,” he said. “She had the trip planned out, along with her mother. It was her first time flying alone. This should have never happened.”

A disabled Florida woman claims Southwest Airlines staffers refused to aid her in going down a jet bridge in a wheelchair — and that she suffered catastrophic injuries after falling over, court papers state.
Gaby Assouline suffered from a genetic muscle disorder.

Her mother, Sandra Assouline said after the accident her daughter was cognizant of her condition.

“The fear and pain she is showing in her eyes when she wakes up in those brief moments of clarity is too much to bear,” her mom said at the time.

A GoFundMe page for Assouline has so far raised more than $137,000 as of Thursday.