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'Nut Rage' Flight Attendant Sues Korean Air, Ex-Vice President

The South Korean flight attendant whose complaint against an airline executive triggered the "nut rage" case has sued the airline and the executive.
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The Korean Air Lines flight attendant whose complaint led to jail for an airline vice president in what became known as the "nut rage" case, has sued the airline and the former vice president, alleging physical and verbal abuse, her lawyer said Tuesday night.

Cho Hyun-ah, daughter of the airline's chairman, apologized and resigned as vice president in December after it was revealed that she'd thrown a tantrum and ordered a Korean Air flight to return to the gate at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York because the flight attendant served her macadamia nuts in a bag, instead of in a porcelain bowl. Cho was convicted of obstructing the flight's captain and assaulting a crew member, among other charges, and was sentenced to a year in jail last month in Seoul.

The New York Daily News first reported that the suit was filed Monday in state Supreme Court in Queens, New York's equivalent of trial court. Andrew Weinstein, an attorney for the flight attendant, identified as Kim Do-hee, confirmed the filing late Tuesday in a statement.

The incident was held up as an example of haughty behavior by the moneyed elite in South Korea, where the economy is dominated by family-run conglomerates known as chaebol. Weinstein said the incident was "emblematic of Cho's unbridled arrogance and disturbing sense of entitlement" and that Kim was pressured to lie to South Korean regulators to cover up the scandal.

The statement didn't say what damages Kim is seeking.


— M. Alex Johnson