View Full Version : Pax gets $1.25 million for Delta bad landing!

Cyclic Hotline
24th Aug 2001, 03:57
Delta passenger wins $1.25 mln for landing trauma

BILLINGS, Mont., Aug 23 (Reuters) - A Montana woman who suffered emotional trauma during an emergency landing aboard a Delta Air Lines jet has been awarded $1.25 million in damages by a jury which concluded her ordeal resulted in physical injury, her lawyer said on Thursday.

Kathy Weaver, 44, was awarded the damages on Wednesday after fellow passengers testified they believed they were all going to die when their MD-11 jet made an emergency landing at a military base near Dayton, Ohio, in 1996. Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines Inc. (NYSE :DAL - news) said it would appeal.

"This jury had an opportunity to listen to the evidence and concluded that Kathy had suffered greatly,'' attorney Randy Bishop told Reuters. "They were trying to get the message to Delta that they should stop disrespecting her and her claim.''

A spokeswoman for Delta said the award went beyond the provisions of the Warsaw Convention on airline liability limiting compensation to instances of physical injury. Bishop, however, argued successfully that the post-traumatic stress disorder his client suffered was in fact a physical injury.

Weaver was aboard a Delta flight from London to Cincinnati on Nov. 7, 1996 when the aircraft began experiencing mechanical problems as it neared its destination. When a passenger asked a flight attendant what was going on, "she kneeled beside me and said 'We're going to die,''' he told the jury.

Bishop said panic then spread throughout the plane. "Grown men and women were crying hysterically .... nearly everybody vomited, the stench of vomit filled the cabin,'' Bishop said. "People were calling home to say their last goodbyes.''

The cockpit crew, battling both mechanical problems which made the aircraft difficult to control and stormy weather, eventually brought the plane down at a military base near Dayton -- where passengers where immediately hustled off the plane and into a nearby hangar because of an approaching tornado.

Following the incident, Weaver said she suffered nightmares and flashbacks, leaving her unable to cope with life. Delta said Weaver's problems were from other causes.

Bishop argued Weaver's long-standing depression left her more susceptible to post-traumatic stress disorder, citing reports from her therapist saying she was unable to work at the same level as before the 1996 incident. The award comes two years after the judge in the case ruled that Weaver was entitled to damages because her terror during the landing led to physical changes within the brain that could be defined as injury.

Delta spokeswoman Cindi Kurczewski said the airline still did not believe the award was justified. "We will appeal the case...we do believe that our crew did an outstanding job in a very difficult situation that day,'' Kurczewski told Reuters.

24th Aug 2001, 05:38

24th Aug 2001, 05:46
Hmm, they sue if they survive an emergency situation, and the relatives sue if they don't survive it.

Time to clean up the US legal system, right now it is a big joke. :rolleyes:

[ 24 August 2001: Message edited by: TowerDog ]

24th Aug 2001, 10:00
Some of the very best BUL**HIT I've ever herd. Jesus only in the US........

Just another number!

Blue Line
24th Aug 2001, 10:24
Oh dear, I wounder what someone will sue for next :rolleyes:

Time Bomb Ted
24th Aug 2001, 10:33
Your Honour, That man Farted in the seat next to me so I seek $1.75Million dollars in compensation. I can't sleep at night thinking about how bad that smell was. It was like Percy the devil farted in my face again. Sob Sob!!!

Wake up America, you are driving yourselves into the ground.

24th Aug 2001, 11:53
Has anybody thought what a stupid and thoughtless remark was made by the Flight Attendant, "were all going to die". Do me favour what was she thinking of?

I agree it does't take much to sue nowadays, but anyone with a modicum of common sense would know what sort of reaction that remark would elicit. I would suggest that the Flight Attendant was partly to blame for the "stress" that this woman is alleged to have had.

:eek: :eek: :eek:

New Bloke
24th Aug 2001, 12:01
Interesting to note that “passengers were calling home”. Just what any skipper needs, bad whether, in-flight emergency and the “did-didda-did” noise of mobile phones trying to get a signal ringing in his ears.

This is outrageous and a slap in the face to the crew. This woman owes her life to someone she is suing, let’s hope I never have to save her life.

24th Aug 2001, 12:30
Rover 2071
>Has anybody thought what a stupid and thoughtless remark was made by the Flight Attendant, "were all going to die". Do me favour what was she thinking of?<

Do us a favour, do you really believe a Flight Attendant actually said that. Just because the passenger said so .......? Please!

We all keep saying "only in America" but we here in UK are rapidly catching up. We seem to love to import all that is crap from the USA but very little of their good practices. e.g. jump seat riding policy to name but one.

24th Aug 2001, 13:12
Glad you posted her name.

The airline got off easy, if she thinks that Delta's emergency landing was bad, wait until she ride through one of my normal landings.......

I think it was a Brit by the name of William Shakespear who first penned:

"The first thing we do, kill all of the Lawyers."

"I really like a bottle cold beer. It doesn't get a restaining order when you grab it by the neck, and it doesn't cost $500,000 dollars to get rid of......"

24th Aug 2001, 13:24
Bloody hell, I've just fell off me chair in amazement reading this and done my back in ! Danny, I reckon that's at least a quarter of a mill pprune owes me ! Or would you like to settle out of court...

Porky Speedpig
24th Aug 2001, 13:43
Receiving all that money would obviously be far too stressful for her. No doubt her lawyer will be aware of this and makes sure she only gets about $100k net!

Bobby Guzzler
24th Aug 2001, 15:23
What an absolute load of w4nk!

Please could an american in the room stand up and justify why there are so many bl00dy wierdos in your country! :rolleyes:

When I saw the topic subject, I thought that it was atleast going to be something of substance like 'an attendant spilt some coffee on her hand!' You could imagine the scene as it was anyway, all 'prayin to Jesus, saying their Hallejujahs' and all that tosh as well! :mad:

Bobby Guzzler
24th Aug 2001, 15:29
I take some of that back - after all us Brits have been exposed to the 'Declan Swan' syndrome, and that annoying ugly bloke with the meaty head and the patronising voice from 'Baines and Ernst!'

I hate ambulance chasers! ;)

gravity victim
24th Aug 2001, 15:31
The statement "We're all going to die" can't be faulted for accuracy. Mind you, not a very tactful place and time to raise the subject! :eek:

Hagbard the Amateur
24th Aug 2001, 15:40
Land of the free?


24th Aug 2001, 15:43
Please remember it was a jury of her peers....

I did however enjoy the comment by one self-deprecating driver inviting our Ms Weaver to experience one of his regular landings...I'll fly with him anytime.

24th Aug 2001, 15:54
Which then reminded me of that well-known...oh alright ...not so well known rock band from Newcastle, Australia called the "Pork Hunts" (aka Delta) who had to change their name to the "Porkers" (aka the lawyers)...mind you the Pork Hunts never made 1.25m..but such is the life of a rock and roller.

24th Aug 2001, 15:58
But in the washup it probably goes to show that the MD11's should be with Fedex and Delta should have gone back to the 747 and repainted the 1011's.

24th Aug 2001, 16:16
What a case. J..us! What next? If, I were the pilot, I'd sue the pax for the post traumatic stress she caused him,if any, by making a claim on his expertise. All I can say, give me a freighter any day! Pigs, cattle and the rest, don't make court cases!

Happiness is an MD11 full of flowers! :)

Mr Benn
24th Aug 2001, 23:13
Perhaps the crew should also sue the airline for $1.25 million for "emotional stress" caused by the mechanical breakdown. I bet they were a little more stressed at the time than that woman!

24th Aug 2001, 23:42
Mmmh ... got to get flying again. Seems to pay better than working..

25th Aug 2001, 13:21
This is incredible, but yet another case of how crazy the whole American culture is becoming .!

Why are American's becoming increasingly precious - demanding - and in alot of cases legends in their own time?

I personally half-dread it when we have a large party of them on-board, they ALL have to have a blanket AND a pillow,- on a 35 minute AMS ,!, cart on vast amounts of carry-on,and are often rude to crew and other pax near to them, if they spoil their american dream-like flight.

Of course , there are many that are charming,grateful,undemanding, and use please and thankyou, but there are equally as many who let these good people down.

In the last couple of months I have an American woman shriek out loud as her cheese roll was - too masculine- . -----

A young father almost die on the spot from shouting,demanding that his twin (65lb) stroller be retrieved from the hold - - at the expense of my back.-----

And an elderly floridian couple reducing a charming Northern couple to tears as they had destroyed their perfect little world by disturbing them as they got up to stretch.

Also just before this a group of guys in their 50's putting away their 500lbs of hand baggage, intimidating a group of Japanese passengers who tried to brush past, with a retort of -- HEY just remember what we did to you guys after Pearl Harbor - -- Un******believable.

It's high time they took a back seat, gave a little respect and took themselves away from their greedy - - blame culture, and take in what is really happening in the real world.

There .!


Cyclic Hotline
25th Aug 2001, 19:28
Seems like you don't even need to get into the air to make some money!

Federal jury backs woman strip-searched at O'Hare

By Matt O'Connor
Chicago Tribune staff reporter
Published August 22, 2001

A federal jury Tuesday found Customs Service inspectors intentionally inflicted emotional distress by strip-searching a former Chicago woman at O'Hare International Airport and recommended she be awarded almost $130,000 in damages.

The decision isn't binding on U.S. District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer, though she told jurors she would consider their verdict "very seriously" in reaching her own decision in several weeks.

One juror, Roger Smith Sr., described the 5 1/2-hour deliberations as "a dogfight" and said the women on the panel were upset that inspectors made Kathryn "Kate" Kaniff strip and bend over to see whether she had hidden narcotics in her body.

"That weighed heavily on the women," Smith said as he left the Dirksen Federal Building after the verdict Tuesday evening.

Prosecutors contended the inspectors were just doing their jobs when they patted down Kaniff, strip-searched her and sent her to a hospital for an X-ray after she returned by jet to O'Hare from a four-day camping trip to Jamaica.

Inspectors alleged a drug-sniffing dog "alerted" on her and that a number of her answers raised suspicions that she might be smuggling drugs. No contraband was found.

Kaniff, 36, of Washington Island, Wis., wept when the judge announced the verdict of the four-man, four-woman jury in the civil trial. "Thank God," she said moments later outside the courtroom. "[I'm] just really thankful that they were listening."

"Those people intentionally hurt me," she said of the inspectors. "Maybe they didn't knowingly hurt me, but they really didn't care about me. That's what I get from this."

But in a rare occurrence in federal court, the jury's verdict is only advisory. Kaniff's suit was brought under tort laws that don't entitle defendants who sue the U.S. government to a jury trial, according to lawyers in the case.

Both sides agreed to hold the trial before Pallmeyer and an advisory jury. But the jury didn't know of its advisory role until Pallmeyer told them moments before announcing its verdict.

Pallmeyer asked for legal briefs from both sides in two weeks but set no timetable for her decision.

In closing arguments Tuesday, Kaniff's lawyers, Paul Shuldiner and Deidre Baumann, sought $200,000 in damages.

Jurors sided with Kaniff on all legal fronts, finding that inspectors lacked reasonable suspicion to conduct a strip-search, that their conduct was willful and wanton, that they subjected Kaniff to false imprisonment and that they intentionally inflicted emotional distress.

They then imposed damages totaling $129,750: $112,625 for emotional pain and suffering and $17,125 for future psychiatric care.

Juror Smith said he was sympathetic with the trauma that Kaniff went through, but he also defended the difficult and important job that inspectors must do to try to keep narcotics from entering at O'Hare. He called the verdict a compromise.

The women jurors felt that inspectors should have gone from a pat-down search straight to the X-ray, skipping the intrusive strip-search, according to Smith.

Some jurors didn't think Kaniff's suit was about money, concluding from the testimony that her parents--who attended each day of the seven-day trial--were already wealthy, Smith said.

Other jurors also questioned the veracity of the testimony of the inspector who said she felt something in Kaniff's crotch area while patting her down, Smith said. They also thought the inspector, Olga Martinez, testified with a smirk on her face, he said. "I didn't see it," Smith said.

Kaniff had testified that Martinez and a second inspector who witnessed the strip-search had smirks on their faces after she pulled her pants back up.

Prosecutors defended the actions of the inspectors, saying they grew suspicious at Kaniff's answers, including that she paid cash for her airline ticket shortly before her trip, didn't stay at a hotel and was evasive about who was picking her up.

In his closing argument, Shuldiner, one of Kaniff's lawyers, called the inspectors "poorly trained, careless and very aggressive." But during a break in the trial Tuesday, Robyn Dessaure, Customs Service's director at O'Hare, said the inspectors "acted appropriately and professionally."

26th Aug 2001, 21:37
oh bless her.....