The former Korean Air executive vice president who last year was involved in a controversial midflight “nut rage” incident has requested that a New York court drop charges filed against her by a flight attendant so she can instead be tried in her home country of South Korea. Heather Cho stands accused of inflicting verbal and physical abuse as well as damaging the flight attendant's career.
Cho submitted Monday a request to dismiss the civil suit filed by Kim Do-hee, the airline’s junior flight attendant who was also involved in the “nut rage,” to the Supreme Court of the State of New York, the Korea Times reported.
The incident occurred last December, when Cho demanded a Seoul-bound plane return to its gate while it prepared for takeoff at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City. Cho was outraged that Kim had served her macadamia nuts in a bag instead of on a plate. During her rage, she also forced the flight’s chief attendant, Park Chang-jin, off the plane.
Cho had already served nearly five months behind bars when she was released in late May by an appeals court in Seoul, which suspended a sentencing given earlier this year of one year in prison for her outburst, Reuters reported. Despite her release, Cho still faces continued legal drama.
Cho is claiming that the case in the U.S. is unnecessary because she is also being investigated and tried in South Korea. The former executive added that all the documents were written in Korean and a trial in South Korea would be more fair because local laws do not limit compensation. She argued that the only reason why Kim filed the case in the U.S. as well was so she could get more compensation. Cho’s lawyers said that the investigation involved nearly 8,000 pages of documents that would have to be translated in order for the criminal suit to be pursued in the United States.
Meanwhile, Park plans to file a lawsuit against Cho in the U.S., seeking compensation of up to 50 billion won, or roughly $44 million.