Monica Amestoy, 18, sued United Airlines and United Continental Holdings in Superior Court, alleging negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress and false imprisonment, reports Courthouse News.
"After the plane took off, the plaintiff saw to her horror that the male passenger directly across the aisle from her had exposed his penis and was masturbating," the complaint states.
Amestoy says the passenger "suspended his offensive behavior" after she complained to a flight attendant, who stood "in the vicinity of the offending passenger," until she had other duties to attend. At that point "the perpetrator exposed his penis and started to masturbate again," according to the complaint.
Amestoy, then 17, claims that although flight staff knew of the passenger's criminal activity, no one talked to the passenger, monitored his behavior or even offered her another seat, "forcing her to sit adjacent to a revolting and lewd display of sexual conduct."
Amestoy "feared, among other things, that the perpetrator might ejaculate, and cause her to come into offensive contact with his sperm," according to the complaint, which goes on to say that "United's conduct toward the plaintiff was outrageous."
Amestoy claims United never contacted authorities, and that it was left to her father to report the incident to the police. The man was investigated, charged, and pleaded guilty to the alleged crimes, the complaint states.
Amestoy seeks compensatory and punitive damages, and is represented by high-profile civil and women's rights attorney Gloria Allred.