The passenger, 73-year-old Othon Cortes of Florida, died after eating an in-flight meal on an American Airlines flight from Barcelona to New York in May.
Cortes' family filed a lawsuit last week in Miami against American Airlines for serving a chicken meal that was reported contaminated, ABC reported.
The lawsuit claimed Cortes was served chicken contaminated with Clostridium perfingens, a deadly bacteria. Cortes' wife Raquel said he felt sharp stomach pains and a clear outward manifestation of severe physical illness when landing in New York at John F. Kennedy International Airport for a layover.
On their following flight from New York to Miami, Cortes reportedly felt nauseous and shortness of breath. After suffering a cardiac issue aboard the plane, the flight made an emergency landing in Norfolk, Va.
Cortes was pronounced dead as the plane landed.
The suit filed by the Cortes family also mentions Sky Chefs, an airline catering company. However, spokeswoman Josefine Corsten said Sky Chefs did not cater that particular flight.
Based upon the allegations in the complaint it is not possible that Sky Chefs is the responsible party because we did not cater the Barcelona flight in question, she told CNN.
The family is seeking one million dollars in damages, claiming the airline did not use proper standards to prepare the meal and should have given Cortes medical attention before boarding the second flight.
American Airlines has not commented as the lawsuit is pending, according to CNN.