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NW Sued For Coffee Spill  
User currently offlineAking8488 From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 129 posts, RR: 0
Posted (13 years 3 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 2513 times:

Woman claiming coffee burns sues Northwest

DETROIT (AP) — A Northwest Airlines passenger who says she suffered second-degree burns when a flight attendant spilled coffee on her has sued the company for more than $25,000.

The lawsuit by Fran Amos, an Oakland County commissioner whose oversight includes contracts for Detroit Metropolitan Airport, accuses the airline of "cold and callous corporate indifference."

Amos said she was traveling to Detroit from Washington, D.C., on March 6 when the full cup of hot coffee was spilled onto her lap.

Amos said she told the flight crew she was in severe pain but they offered no first aid or ice. When she asked for cold water, she was told to get it from the bathroom faucet, she said.

"I felt like they wanted me to disappear," Amos told The Detroit News for Wednesday's editions.

Amos said she told airline employees, "'Look at this face and remember it. I have oversight on this airport."'

"Still, no reaction," she said.

The airline will review the incident but does not comment on active litigation, spokeswoman Kathy Peach said.


36 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineGOT From Sweden, joined Dec 2000, 1912 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (13 years 3 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 2412 times:

Seems strange. From may point of view, don't mean to offend somebody, but it seems like when it happens anything to an american guy he will sue you. Here in Europe that would be impossible. Just seem so strange.

GOT



Just like birdwatching - without having to be so damned quiet!
User currently offlinePHLFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 851 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (13 years 3 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 2402 times:

I can not believe she is only suing for USD 25,000!!! A few years ago, a woman spills her own coffer in her lap going through the drive thru at McDonalds and sues for millions and wins. She said the coffe was too hot, imagine that, hot coffee!

User currently offline747-600X From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 2789 posts, RR: 15
Reply 3, posted (13 years 3 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 2383 times:

I'm not sure what to think. I think suing (sp?) for coffee spills is pretty dumb, but the indifference thing is just rude. Even in Europe if you empty your pot of coffee over someone you at least apologize! But you're right about that - people have spilled things on me before and I really can't imagine even wanting to make that big of a fuss over it. If you ask me, the woman probably tripped the flight attendant so it would happen because she wanted to copy the McDonalds incident so she could get rich and chose 25k to make it sound reasonable (as opposed to the McD's millions) and still have a pretty good bit of cash comin' at her and the f/a was unresponsive because she knew she'd been tripped and wasn't sure if she should be polite to the woman or throttle her.


"Mental health is reality at all cost." -- M. Scott Peck, 'The Road Less Traveled'
User currently offlinePmk From United States of America, joined May 1999, 664 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (13 years 3 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 2364 times:

If this is as claimed, being a frequent NWA flyer I can believe it, I don't think $25,000 is wrong. I am a champion of Tort reform, however when on an airliner the passengers expect safety and are so guaranteed. However not offering aid and comfort to a an injured person is cold and callous. I was on a flight, with a cheap charter carrier, the F/A spilled some softdrink on a passenger while clearing the service items for landing. The F/A immediately filled out an incident report, did NWA file one? I've got a half used tube of blistex that says they didn't.


Peter


User currently offlineBraniff727 From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 686 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (13 years 3 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 2365 times:

Another thing to consider, and I don't know if this is the case at NWA, but when I went through safety training at the Walt Disney Company, I was told that when a guest in involved in an accident, never apologize. By apologizing, you admit fault which of course is like being caught with your pants down in the companies eyes.

Since that day of training, I have never apologized to anyone when injury or damage is involved. The legal profession in this country would certainly hang me out to dry if I ever did!



Climbing
User currently offlineChiawei From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 942 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (13 years 3 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 2351 times:

I disagree. I believe that NW should be sued for this.

This is very different from the McDonald case. The pax did not ask the coffee to be spilled on her. And the crew should take more action to ease.

Second degree burn is a very serious burn.


User currently offlineAking8488 From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 129 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (13 years 3 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 2343 times:

I forgot to say I got this off the USA Today Website. I echo many of your sentiments in that it's difficult to tell exactly what happened. I wonder what other variables might be involved-- e.g. turbulence? However, rude behavior after such an incident is indeed inexcusable. I don't know about 25K worth though.

User currently offlineVirginA340 From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 15 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (13 years 3 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 2339 times:

I think she should be awarded the money enoguh to pay off mediacla bills. By the way I've seen second degreee burns. They'll make you sick just by looking at them an a stay at a burn unit will run you up into the tens of thousands not including seeing a doctor or rehabilitaion. NWA should give her the cash to also avoid negative PR. If JAL or ANA did this to a Japaneese business man they would pay with no questions asked and then the CEO wouls personally apoligize for the incident.


"FUIMUS"
User currently offlineBraniff727 From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 686 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (13 years 3 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 2332 times:

I don't know, every time I fly NWA I personally ask to have coffee spilled on me.

Of course she didn't! I don't think there is a person here that would think she did, but let's say a passenger accidentally triped the FA, or there was some 'act of God' that caused this. Should NWA be sued? Do you really think the FA did this on purpose? If so, then I say discontinue all service items on all flights! God forbid someone might choke on a grape or a bite of a sandwich!

While she's at it, she should sue Caravali for making the coffee!



Climbing
User currently offlinePmk From United States of America, joined May 1999, 664 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (13 years 3 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 2327 times:

Okay, let's stop for a minute and think. REGARDLESS of the cause, the F/A should have offered first aid. For not providing or offering first aid they should be sued, is $25,000 too much, probably, is $2500 too much, no. In any case an incident report should have been filed to reimburse the passenger for the cleaning bill!

Peter


User currently offlineBraniff727 From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 686 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (13 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 2315 times:

I agree with PMK, IF they did not provide first aid. That has yet to be determined. NW is not saying anything since it's in litigation, but the plantiff is.

I think, all opinions aside, we'll have to see how this plays out. Additionally, if First Aid was not offered, I think the FA's responsible should be fired, after all safety is the reason they are there!



Climbing
User currently offlineSkippy208 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (13 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 2317 times:

Wait a minute, I thought Northwest's service has gotten much better and their reputation just hadn't caught up. Doesn't this woman know that Northwest is much better than it used to be? There was no spilled coffee. There could be no spilled coffee. NW is now much better.

Maybe the spilled coffee was a second cup and the FA's expected her to be grateful.

Skippy


User currently offlineB747-437B From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (13 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 2310 times:

Speaking purely from a liability point of view, the F/A acted appropriately. As Braniff727 pointed out, employees are trained NEVER to apologize in a situation where a liability suit may arise (such as this one). Additionally, if the employee attempted to provide first aid, they would be indirectly admitting that there was physical injury caused by the incident.

IMHO, the FA acted in the smartest way possible to reduce the potential liability for themselves as well as NWA. Accidents happen, and damage control after the fact is the only way to reduce their negative effects on the corporation.


User currently offlineFBWless From Sweden, joined Feb 2000, 196 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (13 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 2299 times:

I was on a SAS domestic flight once and when we hit some turbulence (captain turned on the fasten seat belts sign). A business man spilled coffee on his pants and without him even saying one word, a flight attendent rushed forward and asked if he needed assistance right away. She then told him that SAS would pay for a new pair of pants and someone would assist him with the purchase at the airport on arrival.

That's what I call service ...


User currently offlinePHLFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 851 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (13 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 2301 times:

Maybe there was a second pourer behind the grassy knoll.

User currently offlinePmk From United States of America, joined May 1999, 664 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (13 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 2283 times:

Braniff727:

Maybe you should take the same risk management classes I have to! If this is as stated, allow me to summarize this leaving out the motivations for the alleged coffee spiling and who spilled it. An injured passenger was denied first aid care. I also know Disney's "famous" safety training. If a child trips, falls, and skins their knee at WDW on an uneven piece of concrete a cast member is not to apologize, however is supposed to direct them to the first aid station and provide transport if necessary. In the NWA situation the best course of action, following your logic, would have been. The F/A who allegedly spilled the coffee would have paid no attention, however the F/A behind him/her should have responded to the woman's injuries, called the flight deck and the captain would have immediately landed the plane at the nearest airport and had medics waiting at the gate. This is MADNESS! The F/A should have asked "Is there a problem?" That statement does not admit guilt, asking "what is the problem implies that the F/A sees a problem, "Is there a problem?" does not. The PAX would have answered "You spilled coffee on me and I burned my leg" The F/A should then have informed the flight deck that a passenger has recieved a burn from spilled coffee. The Captain would have told the F/A to fill out an incident report and to handle the situation. The Lead F/A and another F/A should have administered first aid, If the passenger asked for it, and that would have diffused the situation. NWA aparently did not do this, they are liable for not providing first aid to an injured person. I work in the gaming industry, believe me I know legal liability and CYA, NWA screwed up.

Peter


User currently offlineGoingboeing From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 4875 posts, RR: 17
Reply 17, posted (13 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 2276 times:

First, I wasn't on that flight. Nor were any of you posting in this thread. You've got the plaintiff's word only. That's not enough to determine if NW should be required to pay or not. Gotta have both sides.

FBWless - the incident you described on SAS might be more common on US carriers, but the way the US is, if a FA did that, then, as Braniff727 points out, the airline has admiitted "guilt" and opens themselves up for a nice little "negligence" lawsuit. That's the way a good number of Americans are (hey I'm an American, I can say that). At the very least, they are hoping that the airline (NW in this case, but it could be anybody) offers some $$ to just drop the case. Sad, but true.


User currently offlineMalev#1 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (13 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 2271 times:

The lady reminds me of Kramer from Seinfeld.

-The coffee supposed to be hot.
-Not that hot!


User currently offlineAKDan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (13 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 2260 times:

Because the spill was supposedly the fault of one of the FAs, the woman should sue and should win enough money to pay for all medical expenses, paid work-leave, travel expenses to and from the hospital, and travel vouchers for public relations sake. A mere $25,000 may not be enough to cover all expenses involved.

Also, if I was one of the flight attendants on that flight, I would be nervous.


User currently offlineGoingboeing From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 4875 posts, RR: 17
Reply 20, posted (13 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 2252 times:

AKDan - Everyone in America has the right to sue, that's one of the benefits of living here. But, without hearing both sides of the story, how can you claim she should win? Just curious.

User currently offlineBraniff727 From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 686 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (13 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 2248 times:

PMK

Yes I agree with you, but what I also said is that we also need to wait to see what happened.

As I said, if in fact no one offered first aid, then they are at fault, however that has yet to be determined.

I've worked in the hospitality and retail industries for well over 8 years, and when it comes to things like this, I'm sorry, I don't care if she is a lawyer, senator or a cleaning lady; I don't believe what one person says happens.

Until we hear more from ALL sides, I don't want to pass judgement either way. Legally speaking, it's a bit premature to conclude that NWA is respnsible, based on only the plantiff's statement, don't you think?



Climbing
User currently offlineAKDan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (13 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 2241 times:

In regards to Goingboeing.

Everything I wrote was based on the premise that it was the flight attendants fault. That being said, I think the woman should sue and should win.

Even if it wasn't the crew's fault, but they still neglected to offer her assistance, I think she still has the right to sue.

You are right, we don't know NWA's side of the story. I want to though!


User currently offlineTsully From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 651 posts, RR: 4
Reply 23, posted (13 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 2227 times:

Some Americans live for the opportunity to sue anyone for anything. They're nothing more than scandalous gold diggers.

After all, did the NWA FA set out with malice of forethought to spill hot coffee on this broad? If that can be proven, then NWA deserves to be sued. But the fact is that won't be proven and therefore this woman is trying to build her entire case based on an unfortunate accident.

And are we to trust her account of the FA's non-willingness to administer aid after the accident occurred? I'm inclined to not accept her account of what happened before witnesses are heard.

I hope this lunatic gets laughed right out of the courtroom…
But as we all know, in America you can sue anyone for anything and get a nice settlement (in or out of court). This reminds me of when a companion pass traveler sued the airline for not putting him in first class. As later to be discovered, first class was full and operating procedure put this clown in the back of the bus. I don’t know if he won his case – I sincerely doubt it, but in American you never know.



I love America. I guess that makes me Bush's poodle, but I'd rather be a dog in New York City than a prince in Riyadh.
User currently offlineNwa747-400 From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1337 posts, RR: 4
Reply 24, posted (13 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 2206 times:

"Wait a minute, I thought Northwest's service has gotten much better and their reputation just hadn't caught up. Doesn't this woman know that Northwest is much better than it used to be? There was no spilled coffee. There could be no spilled coffee. NW is now much better.

Maybe the spilled coffee was a second cup and the FA's expected her to be grateful.

Skippy"



Your immaturity really shows.


25 TheCroupier : >>A mere $25,000 may not be enough to cover all expenses involved. Should be. Let's see, $5,000 for the lady and $20,000 for attorneys. That sounds ab
26 Jet Joc : Nwa747-400, Just because Northwest has gotten much better doesn't mean that the "coffee spill" incident didn't occur. Do we (the forum members) even k
27 NY-JFK-LGA : You guys, just remember, it could be super hot coffee, or ice cold soda, you're flying in the air and never know when you'll hit rough air. Now, this
28 Alpha 1 : Well, at least no one got pile-driven in this one. It's amazing how so many jump to conclusions on things like this. We've become such an impatient so
29 FSPilot747 : Why don't we stop for a second and consider what a 2nd degree burn is. Only one person has mentioned this, and it should be discussed. A second degree
30 AerLingus : 2,500 dollars was probably only covering pain, suffering and medical fees.
31 Rootsgirl : B747-437B, there you go again!! The last time I read your input is when you told me to "keep doing my safety demos", and told me I was full of S___. N
32 Post contains images B747-437B : Ah Rootsgirl, what a refreshing surprise to see you on this thread. You are fast becoming my new nemesis, eh? I don't recall ever saying you were full
33 CPDC10-30 : Didn't United Airline bring up this topic a while ago?
34 NY-JFK-LGA : Plain and SIMPLE, STOP SERVING COFFEE THAT HOT. Isn't it true no one could drink coffee THAT SCALDING HOT? I mean c'mon now, she should get the money
35 Post contains images Alpha 1 : Note to you vis-a-vis B747-437B: lift leg, open mouth, place foot firmly in mouth and chomp! You should NEVER ask someone who flies a ton of segments
36 A330_DTW : I was working the day this happened. The woman, Fran Amos, was very nice and very polite. She was asked by the groundstaff if she needed any assistanc
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