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Wrongful Death Suit Filed On Behalf Of Obese Woman  
User currently offlineitsjustme From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 2768 posts, RR: 9
Posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 1625 times:

" A $6 million lawsuit has been filed in New York City after an obese woman died while waiting for a flight to bring her from Hungary to her home in New York. The three airlines named are Delta Airlines, KLM and Lufthansa. They are being charged with wrongful death, among other things. The deceased woman's husband is the plaintiff on the lawsuit."

I'm not a lawyer or an expert in airline practices but it seems this couple did everything within their power to get the sick wife back to New York where she could get treatment, however three different airlines failed them. What say you?

http://abcnews.go.com/Travel/obese-w...s-airlines-death/story?id=18366572

36 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinemoo From Falkland Islands, joined May 2007, 3909 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 1607 times:

Go read the thread in CivAv on this from a few weeks back, she had issues which three different airlines decided meant she was too much of a medical risk to fly as a normal passenger - she could have flown as a medical passenger with proper support equipment and medical supervision, but the family rejected this.

She also didn't seek medical attention locally, as she didn't trust local doctors (which is a load of rubbish on her part).

Airlines have no requirement to carry you if they deem you a greater risk than an average passenger.


User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 39831 posts, RR: 74
Reply 2, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 1595 times:

Thread about an obese women and the first reply is from a member named "Moo"...



but once on the plane, found the seatbacks of two seats in their row were broken, preventing Mrs. Soltesz from maneuvering her wheelchair into her assigned seats.
That is B.S. I;ve flown on airlines with broken seat backs. How is that going to prevent her from accessing a seat?


Instead, the captain told them they must disembark, the suit claims.

That is where the KLM screwed up.




They confirmed with the airline that proper arrangements had been made concerning Vilma's weight and medical condition.

Delta made the agreement to accommodate them but didn't follow through.




When the embarkation was nearly complete, the lawsuit states, the captain came out of the cockpit and ordered the couple to disembark the plane, because "other passengers needed to catch a connecting flight and cannot be delayed further."

That is where Lufthansa screwed up.


Sounds like a legitimate lawsuit. A three airlines screwed up on this one.



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlineWestJet747 From Canada, joined Aug 2011, 1830 posts, RR: 10
Reply 3, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 1583 times:

One point stuck out at me: This woman has a vacation home in Europe, but she could only afford Y seats? If you can maintain a vacation home in Hungary, you can certainly afford to upgrade to larger seats in F or J, especially when your health is at risk.

Quoting moo (Reply 1):
she could have flown as a medical passenger with proper support equipment and medical supervision, but the family rejected this.
Quoting moo (Reply 1):
Airlines have no requirement to carry you if they deem you a greater risk than an average passenger.

And with these points the case is defeated.

But this case was filed in the US, so who knows. This raises another point though, will the judge claim that he/she has no jurisdiction?

Quoting moo (Reply 1):
She also didn't seek medical attention locally, as she didn't trust local doctors (which is a load of rubbish on her part).

What a joke. My mother is Hungarian and she tells me that the medical care there is up to the standard of of any other western European country. She also frequently brings up that the dental care she received in Hungary is better than what she receives in North America.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 2):
Sounds like a legitimate lawsuit. A three airlines screwed up on this one.

But what about her own culpability? She had a reasonable opportunity to receive sufficient care in Hungary and she refused. The airlines are going to have a field day with that point alone.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 2):
Delta made the agreement to accommodate them but didn't follow through.

The article isn't specific on how the agreement was made, so the plaintiff will need to provide proof that Delta confirmed the arrangements. If he can't provide an email, letter, or recorded phone call, Delta will more or less be off the hook.



Flying refined.
User currently offlinedc9northwest From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 2280 posts, RR: 7
Reply 4, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 1576 times:

Regarding the lawsuit...

I don't know. Isn't that what medical insurance is for? Should've gotten that or not travelled. It sucks, but there's always a risk when you travel.

Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 3):
My mother is Hungarian and she tells me that the medical care there is up to the standard of of any other western European country. She also frequently brings up that the dental care she received in Hungary is better than what she receives in North America.

It has to be private medical care, though, if it's anything like Romania. That means it probably costs money  

But yeah, dental work in Eastern Europe generally is better than in North America. Everyone worth their money gets their specialization in Western Europe and it's much cheaper. So you get the same thing for half the cost, if that.


User currently offlinealoges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8702 posts, RR: 43
Reply 5, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 1572 times:

Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 3):
If you can maintain a vacation home in Hungary, you can certainly afford to upgrade to larger seats in F or J

I think you may need to rethink that. Hungary is not an expensive country and the "vacation home" mentioned here may well have been e.g. her father's old place; simple, small and easy to maintain on a budget that never leaves room for TATL business class fares.



Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
User currently offlineRussianJet From Belgium, joined Jul 2007, 7694 posts, RR: 21
Reply 6, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 1568 times:
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Quoting Superfly (Reply 2):
Thread about an obese women and the first reply is from a member named "Moo"...

Thread about a large woman and 'fly turns up quicly!   

On a serious note, there is no way a woman in that state should be taking anything other than an air ambulance flight to get home.



✈ Every strike of the hammer is a blow against the enemy. ✈
User currently offlineWestJet747 From Canada, joined Aug 2011, 1830 posts, RR: 10
Reply 7, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 1563 times:

Quoting aloges (Reply 5):
I think you may need to rethink that. Hungary is not an expensive country and the "vacation home" mentioned here may well have been e.g. her father's old place; simple, small and easy to maintain on a budget that never leaves room for TATL business class fares.

It could be a shack in the woods, but the cost to fly back and forth from her vacation home is what I'm getting at. If she can't afford an upgrade to accommodate for her health, then how does she visit her vacation home? I don't think she was taking her health as seriously as she should.



Flying refined.
User currently offlineAR385 From Mexico, joined Nov 2003, 6177 posts, RR: 30
Reply 8, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 1562 times:
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As I said in the other thread:

She went there right? So, if they were able to get her there, how come they could not bring her back? And as the other thread pointed out, sure, she gained weight in Hungary. But how much weight did she gain that made it completely impossible to get her back?



MGGS
User currently offlinealoges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8702 posts, RR: 43
Reply 9, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 1553 times:

Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 7):
If she can't afford an upgrade to accommodate for her health, then how does she visit her vacation home?

once a year perhaps, by saving up for it and travelling only if the price is low enough

I just had an issue with the assumption that anyone who owns some sort of vacation home on another continent must be rich.



Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
User currently offlineKiwiRob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 7250 posts, RR: 5
Reply 10, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 1545 times:

Quoting AR385 (Reply 8):
She went there right? So, if they were able to get her there, how come they could not bring her back? And as the other thread pointed out, sure, she gained weight in Hungary. But how much weight did she gain that made it completely impossible to get her back?

Did you see what she looked like, missing a let, looked like a beer keg on a single stump, a very difficult shape to heft about. Stupid women did this too herself, any sensible court would have tossed it out, hence the reason why this is being filed in the US where courts will entertain daft actions like this.


User currently offlinebongodog1964 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2006, 3548 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 1540 times:

If she'd fed her face rather less, she'd probably still be alive, and might have had the money to pay for a better seat ! When she decided to consume far more calories than she required, she effectively signed her own death warrant.

No sympathy at all, forget rubbish about slow metabolism, " its my glands" etc. She was a glutton who ate herself to death. Her hsuband should feel thankful that he's no longer got a whale to shift around.

Now prepared to be   


User currently offlineAR385 From Mexico, joined Nov 2003, 6177 posts, RR: 30
Reply 12, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 1523 times:
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Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 10):
Did you see what she looked like, missing a let, looked like a beer keg on a single stump, a very difficult shape to heft about. Stupid women did this too herself, any sensible court would have tossed it out, hence the reason why this is being filed in the US where courts will entertain daft actions like this.

That´s all fine and dandy, but my question remains unanswered. How did she get there in the first place? Did she swim? took a cruise? No. She flew. How come she couldn´t be flown back?



MGGS
User currently offlinealoges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8702 posts, RR: 43
Reply 13, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 1495 times:

Quoting AR385 (Reply 12):
How come she couldn´t be flown back?

The article says that her health deteriorated while she was in Hungary.



Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
User currently offlineWildcatYXU From Canada, joined May 2006, 2603 posts, RR: 5
Reply 14, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 1483 times:

Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 3):
What a joke. My mother is Hungarian and she tells me that the medical care there is up to the standard of of any other western European country.



Well, I'm not sure. While not from Hungary, I'm from that region and I worked in health care. I dare to say that health care in CE still has a long way to go.

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 4):
It has to be private medical care, though, if it's anything like Romania. That means it probably costs money



I don't think it's a problem, since medical care in CE is still incomparably cheaper than in the USA

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 4):
But yeah, dental work in Eastern Europe generally is better than in North America.



It looks lik things changed big time since I left in 2001. I generally avoid dentists from CE like a plague.

Quoting aloges (Reply 5):
Hungary is not an expensive country and the "vacation home"



Absolutely. I've seen a 5 bedroom freshly renovated house for sale in the "mountainous" area of NE Hungary for about 50k Euro. I don't remember now the exact number in HUF. It was in 2011.


User currently offlineAR385 From Mexico, joined Nov 2003, 6177 posts, RR: 30
Reply 15, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 1478 times:
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Quoting aloges (Reply 13):
The article says that her health deteriorated while she was in Hungary.

Assuming the article is true, I don´t see how her health was an issue coming back given the following description of the instances she was denied transport:

1) "The lawsuit states that the couple was issued boarding passes and boarded their flight, but once on the plane, found the seatbacks of two seats in their row were broken, preventing Mrs. Soltesz from maneuvering her wheelchair into her assigned seats. They were not offered new seats. Instead, the captain told them they must disembark, the suit claims."

2) "Five hours later, the lawsuit states, KLM employees told the couple the airline had made arrangements for them to take a Delta flight to New York from Prague the following day. The couple said in court papers that they drove 4.5 hours to Prague that night and were issued boarding passes for the flight to New York. They confirmed with the airline that proper arrangements had been made concerning Vilma's weight and medical condition.

They attempted to board the aircraft, but the airline did not have the proper wheelchair to transport Vilma."

3) "The travel agent made arrangements for the couple to return to New York on a Lufthansa flight from Budapest with a connection in Frankfurt on Oct. 22. On that day, the lawsuit states, the couple arrived at the airport and were issued boarding passes for all legs of their journey. On this flight, as for all prior flights, the couple had purchased three seats.

Lufthansa medics and local EMS/firefighters helped Mrs. Soltesz into her row of seats. When the embarkation was nearly complete, the lawsuit states, the captain came out of the cockpit and ordered the couple to disembark the plane, because "other passengers needed to catch a connecting flight and cannot be delayed further." The travel agent made arrangements for the couple to return to New York on a Lufthansa flight from Budapest with a connection in Frankfurt on Oct. 22. On that day, the lawsuit states, the couple arrived at the airport and were issued boarding passes for all legs of their journey. On this flight, as for all prior flights, the couple had purchased three seats.

Lufthansa medics and local EMS/firefighters helped Mrs. Soltesz into her row of seats. When the embarkation was nearly complete, the lawsuit states, the captain came out of the cockpit and ordered the couple to disembark the plane, because "other passengers needed to catch a connecting flight and cannot be delayed further.""



MGGS
User currently offlinealoges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8702 posts, RR: 43
Reply 16, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 1465 times:

Quoting AR385 (Reply 15):
Assuming the article is true, I don´t see how her health was an issue coming back given the following description of the instances she was denied transport:

There is no way you could see it because those descriptions are what

Quote:
1) "The lawsuit states
2) "Five hours later, the lawsuit states
3) (...) the lawsuit states

I dimly remember the thread in the civil aviation forum, which didn't read like this.



Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 13985 posts, RR: 62
Reply 17, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 1458 times:

In the original thread our resident doctor stated that, based on the pictures, she seemed to have serious heart and kidney problems, with her body completely swollen due to water retention. IIRC he stated that from what he could see, he would strongly advise against travel and to get serious medical treatment first locally.

Jan


User currently offlineAR385 From Mexico, joined Nov 2003, 6177 posts, RR: 30
Reply 18, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 1449 times:
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Quoting aloges (Reply 16):
There is no way you could see it because those descriptions are what

Well, true. I should have been more precise with my disclaimer

Quoting AR385 (Reply 15):
Assuming the article is true

I´ve been trying to find the first thread on this the whole morning but I´ve had to give up.



MGGS
User currently offlineGatorman96 From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 873 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 1435 times:

The fact that three different airlines at two different airports, in two different countries, denied her boarding, tells me that she shouldn't have flown that day.

This lawsuit is ridiculous and shows a huge lack of personal responsibility...



Cha brro
User currently offlinetype-rated From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 4975 posts, RR: 19
Reply 20, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 1415 times:

When a person is in kidney failure they can retain a lot of water. I wonder why her doctor didn't put her on diruetics and then let her try again in three days? But a person with nearly gone kidneys is usually in no shape to fly.

I wonder if her doctor here in the U.S. gave her the OK to fly before she left?



Fly North Central Airlines..The route of the Northliners!
User currently offlinehOmsAR From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 1173 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 1403 times:

Original thread, for those searching:

Too Fat To Fly, Passenger Kicked Off 3 Flights (by LFutia Nov 26 2012 in Civil Aviation)



I was raised by a cup of coffee.
User currently offlineLufthansa411 From Germany, joined Jan 2008, 692 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 1380 times:

From my knowledge of the US Air Carrier Access Act which is what I would imagine governs things in this case since her final destination was the USA, as long as reasonable accommodations were made to try and have her fly, and written notice was provided to her (or her husband) the act has been followed. The fact that there were safety concerns in at least one case (broken seats with no seatbelt), and logistical problems at minimum in the two other cases I would say they would not have a disability claim.

In terms of wrongful death, they might have had a case if she had sought medical care in Hungary. As the old saying goes- beggars can't be choosers. She chose to not get medical treatment in Hungary which was her own decision as both the article and the lawsuit state. Therefore, the airlines should not be held responsible for her death.



Just to refresh memories, here is a link to the original story at the time, which paints a much different picture than the lawsuit does:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...flights-fat-fly.html#axzz2JgKPEJEq

Quoting AR385 (Reply 8):
She went there right? So, if they were able to get her there, how come they could not bring her back? And as the other thread pointed out, sure, she gained weight in Hungary. But how much weight did she gain that made it completely impossible to get her back?

If I remember correctly from our original thread on this topic, the good Doc mentioned that if she needed dialysis and did not receive it she could have gained 1-2Kg a day for the entire time she was there- if she was there for 3 weeks thats between 21-42+ Kg (45-93lbs). That is a substantial amount of weight- especially if she was already big to begin with.

Quoting AR385 (Reply 15):
Assuming the article is true, I don´t see how her health was an issue coming back given the following description of the instances she was denied transport:

If you compare the article and the lawsuit you can see why there might be some questions raised:

Quoting AR385 (Reply 15):
1) "The lawsuit states that the couple was issued boarding passes and boarded their flight, but once on the plane, found the seatbacks of two seats in their row were broken, preventing Mrs. Soltesz from maneuvering her wheelchair into her assigned seats. They were not offered new seats. Instead, the captain told them they must disembark, the suit claims."

Apparently KLM did not have a seatbelt extension to fit around her. In addition, the seatbacks were apparently not designed to hold that much weight.

Quoting AR385 (Reply 15):
2) "Five hours later, the lawsuit states, KLM employees told the couple the airline had made arrangements for them to take a Delta flight to New York from Prague the following day. The couple said in court papers that they drove 4.5 hours to Prague that night and were issued boarding passes for the flight to New York. They confirmed with the airline that proper arrangements had been made concerning Vilma's weight and medical condition.

They attempted to board the aircraft, but the airline did not have the proper wheelchair to transport Vilma."

DL in PRG only had a plastic wheelchair which was unable to hold her weight. In this case it was probably a situation where if they could get her on the a/c they would be fine- however they did not calculate the wheelchair problems.

Quoting AR385 (Reply 15):
3) "The travel agent made arrangements for the couple to return to New York on a Lufthansa flight from Budapest with a connection in Frankfurt on Oct. 22. On that day, the lawsuit states, the couple arrived at the airport and were issued boarding passes for all legs of their journey. On this flight, as for all prior flights, the couple had purchased three seats.

Lufthansa medics and local EMS/firefighters helped Mrs. Soltesz into her row of seats. When the embarkation was nearly complete, the lawsuit states, the captain came out of the cockpit and ordered the couple to disembark the plane, because "other passengers needed to catch a connecting flight and cannot be delayed further."

According to the Daily Mail, the local fire department in Hungary tried for 30 minutes to lift her out of the wheelchair, which did not work. At that time, the captain made the decision to leave without her since many people on the aircraft had connecting flights to catch.




Looking at the map, if she had driven from BUD-PRG, couldn't she just as easily have continued on to FRA or even MUC to catch a flight to NYC? If they thought they could get her onboard why not?



Nothing in life is to be feared; it is only to be understood.
User currently offlinelewis From Greece, joined Jul 1999, 3623 posts, RR: 5
Reply 23, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 1357 times:

This was mentioned in a thread a while back. I still do not see why she could have a legitimate claim if all airlines did their best to accommodate her but could not.

Quoting itsjustme (Thread starter):

I'm not a lawyer or an expert in airline practices but it seems this couple did everything within their power to get the sick wife back to New York where she could get treatment, however three different airlines failed them. What say you?


My take on this is that, since her health was in such a bad shape, she should have considered staying home, especially since she knew she needed doctor visits very often to survive. Alternatively, if she decided to fly all the way to Europe and her health deteriorated there, she should have gone to a hospital in Hungary or take any other options available to her (charter a helicopter to take her to a "better country" for treatment for example.). LH, KL and DL are not specialized to carry any passenger in any health condition.

Quoting AR385 (Reply 8):
But how much weight did she gain that made it completely impossible to get her back?
Quoting AR385 (Reply 12):

That´s all fine and dandy, but my question remains unanswered. How did she get there in the first place? Did she swim? took a cruise? No. She flew. How come she couldn´t be flown back?

I never saw the weight she gained mentioned in any of the relevant articles, but apparently she gained a lot of weight while being on vacation because of her medical condition. So, what was possible on her way there was not possible on the way back, which was fitting her safely in a normal passenger seat.


User currently offlinelewis From Greece, joined Jul 1999, 3623 posts, RR: 5
Reply 24, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 1351 times:

Quoting bongodog1964 (Reply 11):
If she'd fed her face rather less, she'd probably still be alive, and might have had the money to pay for a better seat ! When she decided to consume far more calories than she required, she effectively signed her own death warrant.

I think that is just mean. I don't know if her medical condition was caused by "stuffing her face" throughout her life, but her current weight was caused by her medical condition and not because she kept eating while being on vacation.

[Edited 2013-02-01 13:49:35]

25 bongodog1964 : Have you looked at her photo ? obviously not, I've seen plenty of people suffering from fluid retention (some fatally so) and it can add 20 or 30 pou
26 lewis : I have. "Obviously not"? Huh, didn't know you were sitting right next to me checking whatever I do. Are you in the medical practice or qualified to s
27 bongodog1964 : I work very closely with the medical profession, and dispose of their mistakes ! Fluid retention is a common problem in people with poor circulation
28 itsjustme : First, let me apologize for the duplicate thread. I did a search and could not find a thread that discussed this case. That being said, I've seen a lo
29 zruda : Just to mention the central European health care, well I've been living here my whole life and so do millions of other people and I must say that whil
30 bongodog1964 : Below is an extract I found within a few seconds on the BA website from their "conditions of carriage" under the heading "denying boarding" 7a5) If y
31 itsjustme : I'm not disputing an airline's right to refuse to transport someone whose mental or physical state they deem to be a danger or risk. My point is, non
32 Quokkas : Just about all medical cover in travel insurance policies comes with exclusions like: pre-existing medical conditions unless specifically agreed to b
33 WildcatYXU : Tell that to my father in law...
34 DocLightning : It is not the airline's job to assess the health of their passengers. It is the job of the passenger and her physician to make that determination. As
35 AR385 : I agree with you. However, please tell me (no sarcasm, I´m really interested) in knowing how much can you as a doctor do to prevent your patient fro
36 DocLightning : No sarcasm taken. My medical students ask me that very same question all the time. The answer is the concept of "patient autonomy." Ethically and leg
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