Nazem AmineAmine, who wrestled Greco-Roman at the 1956 and 1960 Olympics for his native Lebanon before settling in the Detroit area 50 years ago, had worked as butcher most of his life until retiring at age 72 ... only to start a new career as a driver and baggage handler for Spirit until injuries reportedly caused him to quit that job at 88.
The family alleged that Nazem Amine lifted 500 pieces of luggage during one shift in spring 2015, triggering a hernia "that would send him downhill," according to the family. The former Greco grappler had surgery, followed by pneumonia, congestive heart failure, colitis, and, ultimately, a heart attack, they said.
As InterMat reported one week ago, Nazem Amine died July 16.
The Amine family believe Spirit should be held responsible for the patriarch's medical bills, and has filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court.
The lawsuit is seeking an estimated $721,000 -- half of which would go to Medicare; the other half to his widow, Siham Amine of Dearborn, Mich.
Spirit Airlines is trying to get the lawsuit dismissed, denying any wrongdoing. At issue for the airline is whether the hernia caused Nazem Amine's heart condition -- a question that is still pending before a workers' compensation board.
In court documents, Spirit Airlines has said that Amine's medical bills relating to the hernia injury have been paid by the airline's workers' compensation insurance carrier, but went on to say the Michigan Workers Compensation Board hasn't yet ruled on whether the heart problem will be covered by workers' comp. And until it does, the airline argues, the lawsuit should be dropped.
Nazem Amine headed up a family where wrestling was a passion. Two of his sons -- Mike and Sam Amine -- not only wrestled for the Michigan Wolverines in the late 1980s, but were also alternates for the U.S. Olympic wrestling team for the 1992 Games. In addition, three grandsons -- Malik, Jordan, and Myles -- also earned scholarships to wrestle at the Ann Arbor school.