A Daphne, Alabama man who was severely injured by a Delta Airlines passenger’s emotional support dog on on Sunday (June 4) night, has obtained legal representation.
The victim, Marlin Termaine Jackson, 44, had his attorney J. Ross Massey of Alexander Shunnarah & Associates release close-up images of his facial injuries on Thursday (June 8) afternoon.
The images show a large red scar under Jackson’s right nostril and another large red scar running along his right cheek.
Multiple dark scars can also be seen around his eyes and face.
Initial police reports stated that Jackson was bitten by a dog owned by, Ronald Kevin Mundy Jr. of Mills River, N.C.
All three were on a Delta Airlines flight leaving Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta headed to San Diego that night.
Officials from Delta Airlines said the flight was delayed as Jackson was transported to a local hospital and Mundy and his dog were escorted off the plane.
Massey gave a more extensive narrative of the incident in the statement his legal office released.
According to the statement, Jackson was assigned a window seat on the left side of the plane. When he approached his aisle Mundy was sitting in the middle seat with his dog in his lap.
According to witnesses, the approximately 50-pound dog growled at Jackson soon after he took his seat. The dog continued to act in a strange manner as Jackson attempted to buckle his seat belt. The growling increased and the dog lunged for Jackson’s face.
The dog began biting Jackson who could not escape due to his position against the plane’s window. The dog was pulled away by Mundy, but broke free from his grasp and attacked Jackson a second time.
The attacks reportedly lasted 30 seconds and resulted in profuse bleeding from severe lacerations to Jackson’s face. His injuries included a puncture through his lip and gum.
The images show a large red scar under 44-year-old Marlin Jackson’s right nostril and another large red scar running along his right cheek.
Massey said the injuries required immediate transport, by an ambulance, to the emergency room of a local hospital. Jackson received 28 stitches and is presently awaiting consultation with a plastic surgeon.
He also added that Jackson’s injuries will likely have permanent scarring.
Massey said that Mundy was moved to an alternate Delta Air Lines flight and his emotional support dog was placed in a kennel in the undercarriage.
Mundy, a military service member with the U.S. Marine Corps, told authorities that the dog, a chocolate lab pointer mix, was issued to him for support.
Delta Airlines website states that the company complies with the Air Carrier Access Act. It allows customers traveling with emotional support animals or psychiatric service animals to travel without charge.
The website states that a kennel is not required for emotional support animals if they are fully trained and meet the same requirements as a service animal.
Massey said his legal team is currently seeking information from Delta Air Lines regarding their compliance with policies for unrestrained larger animals within a plane’s cabin. He also wants to see the verification process of their emotional support animal training requirements.
"It is troubling that an airline would allow a dog of such substantial size to ride in a passenger’s lap without a muzzle," said Massey. "Especially considering the dog and its owner were assigned a middle seat despite Delta Air Lines’ policies that call for the re-accommodation of larger animals."
At this time, a lawsuit has not been filed.