VANCOUVER — A former flight attendant has launched a lawsuit against WestJet, accusing the airline of failing to take proper action after she reported an alleged sexual assault by a pilot.
In documents filed this week in B.C. Supreme Court, Mandalena Lewis alleges an unnamed WestJet pilot pulled her onto a hotel bed and proceeded to kiss and grope her during a stopover in Hawaii in January 2010.
Lewis's lawyer, Sean Hern, says his client has consented to her name being made public.
in a statement of claim, Lewis says the Calgary-based company changed her work schedule to avoid overlap with the pilot and instructed her to keep quiet about the alleged incident out of respect for his privacy.
None of the allegations have been proven in court and WestJet has not filed a statement of defence.
In a statement, the company says it doesn't comment on ongoing legal proceedings but it intends to defend itself against the lawsuit.
It says the airline takes seriously its commitment to ensuring a safe and harassment-free environment for both its employees and passengers.
Lewis says she decided to go to court after being fired for allegedly trying to learn how the company had responded to her complaint and after she learned that another flight attendant had allegedly been sexually assaulted by the same pilot in 2008.
The statement of claim says Lewis met the flight attendant for the first time last year.
The document claims that WestJet didn't adequately investigate the pilot's alleged behaviour in 2008, which put Lewis and other employees at risk.
The Canadian Press