The woman had her right leg amputated below the knee as a result of the fall and died the day after the surgery.
A family is suing Alaska Airlines and a contractor after 75-year-old Bernice Kekona died following a fall down an escalator while in a wheelchair at Portland International Airport, according to CBS News.
Kekona's family indicated that she needed assistance traveling between gates to a connecting flight when they bought her ticket, but the family alleges the contractor, Huntleigh, that Alaska Airlines hired to perform the service did not fulfill its duties. According to the lawsuit, Huntleigh claims it was not told by Alaska Airlines that Kekona needed the service.
A surveillance video shows that after exiting her initial flight, Kekona navigated the airport alone before falling down an escalator headfirst and suffering multiple injuries. She eventually had to have her right leg amputated below the knee and died the day following the surgery.
Though it doesn't cite any specific monetary damages, the lawsuit says that Kekona's medical bills were almost $300,000.
"We don't have all the facts, but after conducting a preliminary investigation, it appears that Ms. Kekona declined ongoing assistance in the terminal and decided to proceed on her own to her connecting flight," Alaska Airlines said in a statement to Business Insider.
The airline said that Kekona "went off on her own" after being helped into her wheelchair.
Huntleigh did not immediately respond to a request for comment.