Flight attendant contends Gig Harbor pilot assaulted her. She's sued SkyWest Airlines

Mary Morgan, a flight attendant for SkyWest Airlines, has filed a lawsuit contending that a SkyWest captain drugged and raped her in 2016 during a layover in Canada.
Mary Morgan, a flight attendant for SkyWest Airlines, has filed a lawsuit contending that a SkyWest captain drugged and raped her in 2016 during a layover in Canada. Seattle Times

“Foggy and hazy”

In her suit and during an interview, Morgan claimed the pilot assaulted her on Nov. 29, 2016, while a SkyWest flight crew was staying in an Edmonton hotel. During a day off before a return flight to Sea-Tac, Morgan and the pilot arranged to attend an Edmonton Oilers hockey game together, she said.

After the game, the two were having drinks at the arena when Morgan said she excused herself to go to the restroom.

“When I came back, I finished my drink and then we left the arena,” she said.

After that, Morgan says her memory gets fuzzy. She can recall only “snippets” of events before she remembers “waking up naked in the pilot's bed.

“He was lying next to me, and I was so confused,” she said. “I just felt dull, just kind of foggy and hazy.”

Morgan said she quietly dressed and returned to her own room and took a shower, finding bruises on her breasts and thighs and blood in her genitals.

“I knew I had been assaulted,” she said. “But at that moment, I was so confused and in shock.”

Morgan said she texted the pilot, asking him to explain how she ended up in his bed.

“Put two and two together,” she said he texted back. Once at the airport, Morgan said she tried to avoid him during the return flight to Seattle.

A few days later, Morgan said she told her parents “everything that had happened” and later called a friend — SkyWest’s chief flight attendant.

“I told him what had happened, and he said, ‘Well, I’ve never heard anyone say anything like that about (the pilot),’ ” Morgan said.

The chief attendant took no further action, she added.

Over the next few days, Morgan went to a doctor to be checked for sexually transmitted diseases, then reported the alleged rape to police. An officer in Sidney, British Columbia, forwarded her statement to an Edmonton police detective, who obtained additional evidence, including statements from SkyWest and a hotel clerk, Morgan said.

In an email Thursday, an Edmonton Police Services spokesman confirmed a case was forwarded to prosecutors, but “the Crown did not proceed with charges as a result of insufficient evidence.”

In December 2016, shortly after Morgan reported her allegations to police, she said she also informed SkyWest’s employee-relations office. The airline placed her on paid leave, she said, but conducted only a cursory review before summoning her back to work.

When Morgan told her employer she wasn’t ready to return, she said the airline gave her three options: take unpaid leave, transfer to a different airport or self-schedule flights to avoid the pilot.

"Which isn’t the appropriate response, obviously,” said Julie Kays, Morgan’s Seattle attorney. “We see this a lot in these types of cases, where suddenly it all falls on the victim to upend her life. Well, what’s happening to this guy who assaulted her?”

Airline officials at one point informed Morgan that the pilot would no longer be permitted to fly to Canada, so as “to avoid a scene” and his possible arrest, she said. But “they’ve taken absolutely no action,” and he continues to work flights in and out of Sea-Tac Airport, where Morgan also works, she said.

Morgan has since undergone therapy, and her work hours have diminished while she’s tried to avoid encountering the pilot.

In January, she also tried, but failed, to obtain a court order to prevent the pilot from encountering her at work — an action Morgan said she only pursued because SkyWest repeatedly declined to properly address scheduling.

“I am standing up for myself,” Morgan said of her reasons for the lawsuit. “I don’t want this to happen again to anybody else.”

Seattle Times news researcher Miyoko Wolf contributed to this story.