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NW Loses Lawsuit Over Pax Hearing-loss In-flight.  
User currently offlineAirframeAS From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 14150 posts, RR: 24
Posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 8484 times:

Sounds like bad times for NW. Something they dont really even need right now, or any U.S. airline needs either. Is this a sign that NW needs to get rid of some D9's?

Comments are appreciated.

http://www.usatoday.com/travel/news/2004-06-30-nwa-lawsuit_x.htm?csp=28


A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
42 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineTekelberry From United States of America, joined May 2003, 1459 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 8450 times:

The article states it was a pressurization problem with one specific airplane. It doesn't state it was a fleet-wide problem with all DC-9s.

Sometimes it takes lawsuits like these for companies to fix their problems.

[Edited 2004-07-01 11:09:18]

User currently offlineJwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 19
Reply 2, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 8391 times:

expect a spade of frivolous lawsuits as a result costing airlines billions in legal fees which they can't afford.

Expect airlines to introduce mandatory earplugs for passengers, maybe requiring you to sign a form indemnifying the company from responsibility for any and all problems you may develop during or after the flight.

Expect lawyers to get richer and the rest of the world to get poorer as a result.



I wish I were flying
User currently offlineNoelG From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 8386 times:

Ahneman has a congenital ear condition that makes her ear less resistant to pressure changes, said her attorney, Stephen Watters.

Well she shouldn't have been bloody flying then!!!!! C'mon - surely if you have a condition like that you should speak to your doctor and make sure you're fit to fly first!

Jeez.....

 Pissed


User currently offlineTrident2e From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 8375 times:

Only in America! Where else could such a stupid lawsuit be taken seriously?

User currently offlineSingapore_Air From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2000, 13745 posts, RR: 19
Reply 5, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 8358 times:

If they were aware of the problem, why didn't they ground the aircraft / fix the problem immediately?


Anyone can fly, only the best Soar.
User currently offline777236ER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 8350 times:

Jwenting, why are you against a lawsuit like this?

The aircraft had a problem, NW didn't fix it, a passenger lost their hearing as a result.

You think that's an unnessecary lawsuit?!

[Edited 2004-07-01 13:29:04]

User currently offlineHa763 From United States of America, joined Jan 2003, 3671 posts, RR: 5
Reply 7, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 8338 times:
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I'd like to know what kind of pressurization problem this aircraft had. I can't find anything saying that there was any pressurization problems with a NW DC-9 on March 26, 2002. Was it a decompression or was the pressure just fluctuating?

User currently offlineUshermittwoch From Germany, joined Jan 2004, 2969 posts, RR: 16
Reply 8, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 8319 times:

Somebody's math isn't the best.
How can she get awarded 500k, which is split up into a 75k and 475k portion?!

Anyway, if she already had this condition, I lack the ability to see how she can even get into a courtroom with her claims, let alone win the case...



Where have all the tri-jets gone...
User currently offlineAirframeAS From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 14150 posts, RR: 24
Reply 9, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 8290 times:

I wonder what tail number was in question that is if anyone at NW knows.


A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
User currently offlineIsitsafenow From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4984 posts, RR: 23
Reply 10, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 8147 times:

I may sue NW because the magazine I was reading was last months and I already read that one. They were negligent in putting a current magazine on the airplane. I was really looking forward in reading the new one. darn..
that should be worth about $100,000.00 for starters.
Also I was on a old Delta 737 that smelled on the inside..I sneezed so hard I broke my nose. That should be worth at least $750,000.00
Now isn't this stupid!
The woman knew she had an ear problem. Chances are shes a once a decade pax anyway.
And the judge let this into the courtroom...DUUHH.
The smart ones are lawyers. Judges go the other way.
safe



If two people agree on EVERYTHING, then one isn't necessary.
User currently offlineEA CO AS From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 13752 posts, RR: 61
Reply 11, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days ago) and read 8036 times:
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Jurors awarded Ahneman $75,000 for medical expenses and pain, disability and emotional distress and tacked on $475,000 for future medical expenses, pain, disability, distress and loss of earning capacity.

Explain to me how she's suffered a 'loss of earning capacity' based on a partial hearing loss - is she a tuning fork tester or something?








"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan
User currently offlineGoingboeing From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 4875 posts, RR: 16
Reply 12, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 8002 times:

Ahneman has a congenital ear condition that makes her ear less resistant to pressure changes, said her attorney, Stephen Watters.

That right there demonstrates the complete loss of any personal responsibility in America today. If you have a "congenital ear condition that makes her ear less resistant to pressure changes", then the person buying the ticket has the responsibility to weigh the potential risks involved with flying in a pressurized aircraft.


User currently offlineLuisca From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 7985 times:

Although usually I don't agree with lawsuits, I think the women involved in this one was right. Airplanes that are pressurized maintain a cabin pressure of about the same you would experience at 8000 feet. We still don't know what the problem was, but if it was a problem that made for significant pressure changes in flight, and NW knew, but did nothing to fix them, they are negligent. Also, the sum of money is very small compared to the frivolous 10 million because I got burned with my coffee lawsuits that plague the US judicial system today. I think that this woman is NOT suing to make a quick buck.

just my 0.02


User currently offlineGarnetpalmetto From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 5426 posts, RR: 52
Reply 14, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 7915 times:

Also, the sum of money is very small compared to the frivolous 10 million because I got burned with my coffee lawsuits that plague the US judicial system today.

 Insane Here we go again. I'll paste what I said in another thread regarding this

A bit off topic, but it's time to correct some misconceptions about Liebeck v. McDonalds. Liebeck is a defective product lawsuit arising when Stella Liebeck received burns while attempting to add cream and sugar to her coffee. Liebeck was the passenger in a car driven by her grandson and, at the time of the incident, the car was at a complete stop. Liebeck had a legitimate case in that McDonald's corporate policy called for their coffee to be held at dangerously hot temperatures (around 180-190 degrees Fahrenheit) that were some 20-30 degrees hotter than most other restaurants (I believe that contact for as little as 6 seconds would cause 3rd degree burns and, indeed, Liebeck had 3rd degree burns over her thighs, legs, buttocks, genitals, groin, and perineum). Liebeck thus had to spend 8 days in the hospital, underwent debridement and skin grafts and amassed some $20,000 in hospital bills. Liebeck wrote a letter requesting at least partial compensation for these bills, only to receive no response. In fact, McDonald's had a solid history of ignoring claims from over 700 other individuals who were similarly burned, in some instances by drive-through staff actually dropping the coffee onto consumers (albeit accidentally). In court, McDonald's could provide no real reason as to why the coffee was maintained at significantly higher temperatures than competitors, either and provided a defense that Liebeck wasn't entitled for compensation for her medical bills because, at age 79, Liebeck had little need to use her genitalia. No doubt, Liebeck was legit as an example of corporations behaving badly.

As an addendum, the initial award was in the millions of dollars (equivalent to two days of coffee sales for McDonalds) but the judge lessened the punitive damages and, in truth, nobody knows the exact amount McDonalds gave Liebeck, as they later went through a confidential settlement process.



South Carolina - too small to be its own country, too big to be a mental asylum.
User currently offlineJetjack74 From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 7438 posts, RR: 50
Reply 15, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 7914 times:
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This will be overturned on an appeal, but you'll never hear about it.


Made from jets!
User currently offlineUA777222 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 3348 posts, RR: 11
Reply 16, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 7884 times:

It says over 500K meaning that 475 + 75 = 525 which is more than 500k.......




UA777222



"It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark."
User currently offlineGoingboeing From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 4875 posts, RR: 16
Reply 17, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 7826 times:

Although usually I don't agree with lawsuits, I think the women involved in this one was right. Airplanes that are pressurized maintain a cabin pressure of about the same you would experience at 8000 feet. We still don't know what the problem was, but if it was a problem that made for significant pressure changes in flight, and NW knew, but did nothing to fix them, they are negligent

Even if it was the smallest DC9 they operate, and assuming it was only half full, there would have been 39 passengers on board. If this pressurization problem would have affected even 3 more passengers, they I would say that perhaps the lawsuit had some merit. But if you have an ear problem that presents problems with pressurization, you really shouldn't be flying. Period. What if....the flight this woman was on was the first incidence of pressurization problems? She'd still suffer the same damage. Would she not want sue for it then? My guess is, yes, she would have, because of what I call the "coulda shoulda oughta" factor. NWA "shoulda" known that older aircraft were suceptible to this problem, and they "coulda" prevented it by retiring those aircraft, so they "oughta" pay for this.

It's sort of "damned if you do, damned if you don't"...suppose the "lesson" that NWA learned was that they needed to ask everyone checking in if they have "congenital ear condition that makes their ear less resistant to pressure changes". So the woman flies them again, they ask her, she says yes, so they issue her a refund and decline to fly her for "personal safety" reasons. Looks like discrimination of people with congenital ear defects to me. And I'd bet she'd be firing off letters to the CEO and hiring a lawyer.

I'm not trying to sound like an asshole in this response, but you really need to understand how much of the tort law works in the USA. Here's an example that might help you to understand:

On the evening of February 19, 1988, Mr. Compton and four other teenaged friends consumed several six-packs of beer and drove around Scott County, Kansas, in a 1982 Subaru GL Station Wagon. While traveling on U.S. Highway 83, the teenagers spotted the automobile of Mr. Compton's ex-girlfriend. Tailing behind, the Subaru weaved back and forth across the yellow line until one of the teenagers reached over and yanked on the steering wheel, causing the driver to lose control. The Subaru skidded across the highway, entered a ditch, and rolled over twice. During its first roll, Mr. Compton, seated in the rear seat behind the driver and not wearing a seatbelt, suffered a spinal cord injury resulting in quadriplegia.

Pretty easy case, right? Well....Subaru was found to be 56% responsible and a judgement was entered against them for $6,574,081. Drinking "several six packs of beer", weaving accross the yellow line, and someone yanking the steering wheel were only 44% liable for the injuries.

Bottom line, the person in the NWA suit had a congenital ear defect, yet still took on the risk of travelling in a pressurized airliner. Sorry, but that's not NWA's fault.


User currently offlineIsitsafenow From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4984 posts, RR: 23
Reply 18, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 7754 times:

Hey Luisca..the woman wasn't out to make the quick buck...the lawyers were.

GoingBoing...a few years ago(early 90's) at East Lansing Mich one night, some very drunked up college guys left a bar and drove up to a rail crossing. The gates were down and the train was blasting its horn as it approached the crossing. One guy got out of the car and raised the gate so the car could pass in front of the train. It was a tie. Three guys dead...mommies and daddies sued the railroad...guess who won? Now go figure why our system here in the USA is screwed up.
THATS A FACTUAL AND TRUE STORY So, dont give me any post saying ''cant happen" cause it did...its now history... so truck on, y'all.....back to airplanes....
safe



If two people agree on EVERYTHING, then one isn't necessary.
User currently offlineNWA Man From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 1828 posts, RR: 12
Reply 19, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 7525 times:

It says over 500K meaning that 475 + 75 = 525 which is more than 500k.......


You do mean 475K + 75K = 550K, right? Just checking...


Back on topic - on appeal, what NW should do is track down other passengers from that flight. Did anything happen to their hearing? I'm going to go out on a limb and say no.

So basically, the question is this - Why is she flying with a congenital ear defect that makes her less resistant to pressure changes? And why is she being rewarded for her bad decision?


Regards,

N-Dub



Create your own luck.
User currently offlineHlywdCatft From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 5321 posts, RR: 6
Reply 20, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 7307 times:

I can sort of symphasize with her I have had bad problems after flying too.

When I fly into DTW from MCO I am fine, but for some reason the last two times I landed at MCO my ears would be painful for days. I couldn't hear for 3-4 days after each occassion. I thought the first time it happened on a NW 757 it was a fluke, but it happened again a couple months later on a Spirit MD-80.

It was the worst feeling, I thought my head was going to explode. I was chewing gum and swallowing both times too. I am wondering though if it has to do with landing at sea level at MCO or something, because it doesn't happen in Detroit.

I made a thread about it a few months ago. We were trying to come up with theories of why my ears have only hurt landing at MCO.


User currently offlineAzjubilee From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 4028 posts, RR: 27
Reply 21, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 7294 times:

Completely rediculous!! Another typical American not accepting responsibility for their actions. Uh... if you have an ear issue that YOU KNOW ABOUT why the heck were you flying? Not to mention the fact that pressure changes on EVERY single airplane in the world Who is she going to sue when she drives a car from lower elevation to higher elevation? What about fast moving elevators?

Why is everyone so hung up on the "problem" part. The woman acts as if she is a mechanic and knows what was going on. She also acts as if she was privy to the mx records of the airplane.

It's just too bad NW has to deal with people like this... I suppose she's "never fly NWA again."


AZJ (shaking his head)



User currently offlineAccess-Air From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1940 posts, RR: 12
Reply 22, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 7210 times:

Azjubilee,

I wouldnt go as far as to say "Typical American," I would however say that she has rocks for brains....
I have NO SYMPATHY for her...She knew ahead of time that she had a severe problem with her ears and was probably even advised by her doctor not to fly...and did anyway. What right does she think she has to file a lawsuit???? NONE....Thats like someone with a bad heart getting on a Roller Coaster dipsite the MANY warnings and dying on the ride then a family memeber trying to sue the amusement park....
Unfortunately, laywers in this country have made everyone feel like they are a "Victim" and that someone owes them for their neglegence.
I would say that a fair amount of other passengers from this flight should be required to testify in this case before NWA pays a dime!!!!!!!
Ya think??

Access-Air



Remember, Wherever you go, there you are!!!!
User currently offlineBa97 From Canada, joined Apr 2004, 377 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 7172 times:

Ok. Now why is it we do not have stacks of claims for walking across tarmacs to aircraft with the loud jet engine noises. We see the ground crew with ear protection but we routinely walk in their work place without any protection. I have sensitive ears, not to pressure but noise, and sometimes they are ringing for a very long time (i.e. hours) after a few minutes on the concrete. You walk up the back door of a 727 and the noise is amazingly loud if the engines/apu are not off. no I am not looking for a lawyer. And unfortunately in many countries, laws to protect us against negligence are being used negligently and hurt us all instead of addressing the true victim.


there is economy class, business class, first class...then Concorde..pure class
User currently offlineNWADC9 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 4898 posts, RR: 9
Reply 24, posted (10 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 7103 times:

THis is the most stupidest lawsuit ever! She needs to stop being a baby, and if she has ear problems before a flight on a loud airplane, CHOOSE ANOTHER AIRLINE!!!!!!!!!!!! She's making my head explode!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Acting devilish


Flying an aeroplane with only a single propeller to keep you in the air. Can you imagine that? -Capt. Picard
25 Azjubilee : NWADC9 - what article did you read? We're all talking about a stupid lady that had an ear problem, and then flew on an airplane that had an alleged pr
26 MikeM2648 : Isitsafenow, I live just a few minutes away from where the train accident you are referring to occured and drive over that crossing all the time. It w
27 NWADC9 : Sorry, got it mixed up with something else.
28 SAS330GOT : I am with the woman, I have had a ear problem since I was around 4 years old. I am what you called an ear child. My ears "pop" really hard when I am f
29 Dufo : There should be mandatory 'class 5' medical licences for such passengers.
30 QIguy24 : I find it pretty "funny" that she was the only one getting hearing damage. Whata about the rest of the passengers? Or was she the only one on that fli
31 Jwenting : Ahneman has a congenital ear condition that makes her ear less resistant to pressure changes, said her attorney, Stephen Watters. That right there dem
32 UN_B732 : Maybe her ear gets hurt on every flight she takes due to this condition. Eh. Maybe there wasn't even a problem. -Mr. X
33 Hammer : EA CO AS-that is great!! A tuning fork tester!!! This lady should buy a Cessna 172 with her new found wealth and fly on that everywhere so she can't e
34 Robsawatsky : I believe there needs to be a wholesale change in the attitude toward risk assumption. I accept that almost any activity has certain risks, even being
35 Post contains images Longhaulheavy : Just thought I'd dig up my old Torts outline, since I knew there'd be something in there that's applicable here. Assumption of Risk 1) A complete defe
36 Post contains images Jmc1975 : This is truly a new twist to the weekly NW DC9 threads!
37 Aviationwiz : The article states she had an ear problem, therefore, she shouldn't have been flying. Don't people understand? You don't fly when your sick!
38 Airlinelover : Ahneman has a congenital ear condition that makes her ear less resistant to pressure changes, said her attorney, Stephen Watters. As stated previously
39 NWAFA : Another crazy American lawsuit! She had problems BEFORE she got on the plane. Take RESPONSABILTY for YOURSELF people. SHEESH! I like what Isitsafenow
40 Post contains images BR715-A1-30 : I've read some SDR reports of quite a few DC9s having pressurization problems. I will be flying on one in 2 weeks, cannot wait , but I will be bringin
41 Northwest717 : Poor NW! It's awful when people abuse the powers of the judicial system to pick on easy targets so that they can just fill their pockets! Poor NW! -Ti
42 Post contains images AirframeAS : My goodness...my first successful topic!! I can't believe its been 40+ posts now. Thanks guys, for all the contributions and opinions!
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