Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Gotta love the lawyers

United Airlines Sued for Passenger Beating Wife

The red comments are my own. :)

Boeing 777-200
Image via Wikipedia
A husband and wife are suing United Airlines for negligence, saying the drinks served them on a flight from Osaka, Japan to San Francisco, USA, fueled their subsequent actions.
“Fortified with Burgundy wine allegedly supplied at 20-minute intervals by United crew members during the December 2006 trip, Yoichi Shimamoto became so inebriated “that he could not manage himself,” according to a lawsuit filed Dec. 5″
He was arrested and accused of battery and disorderly conduct after he struck his wife six times. The couple insists that United Airlines is ultimately responsible for the incident, despite the fact he was sentenced to eighteen months of probation. They allege United’s “conduct was egregious because it knew or should have known that over-serving a passenger alcohol on an international flight would have negative consequences.”
Needless to say this incident discussion has been making the rounds of crews lately with comments. Mainly the consensus is "what a maroon".
We wonder about this. Are flight attendants supposed to be behaviorial profilers and determine beyond the obvious who should and should not be served? They do, like bars, cut off passengers seen as having too much. There are no details on the nature of the service given to him, how many twenty minute intervals, etc. Perhaps airlines should not sell alcohol at all.
Trust me, there is no way with the staffing to passenger ratios that we have that they could have been served every 20 minutes. And, when a passenger gets "overserved" we absolutely do, and must, cut them off.
The Shimamotos, and we’re surprised his wife is in on this ludicrous lawsuit, want United to pick up $100,000 for bail, legal fees, and the costs of having his probationary sentence transferred to Florida, where his wife had a home. They also want the airline to pay for “pain, suffering, loss of income and any other relief that is just and proper.”
United responded, stating, “We believe that a lawsuit that suggests that we are somehow responsible for the consequences of a passenger’s physical assault on his own wife is without any merit whatsoever.”
We have to agree with them. (I'm not sure who the "we" is in this article, it came forwarded to me by another flight attendant, but we ALL agree. Actually we all agree that it would be pretty funny if all the airlines got together and banned either of these idiots from ever flying on them again. I wonder if he'd beat his wife and blame somebody else for it if he had to drive or take the train or a ship across the Pacific everywhere he went.)
Ironically, the article we referenced goes on to point out the case would have merit in a bar, but because this occurred on a plane, there are issues of applicable law. Ultimately, we hope the case is dismissed as frivilous. Isn't life grand? That the case was ever even heard makes me wonder. Geesh

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