itsjustme
Topic Author
Posts: 2727
Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2004 6:58 pm

Wrongful Death Suit Filed On Behalf Of Obese Woman

Fri Feb 01, 2013 4:37 pm

" 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
 
User avatar
moo
Posts: 4033
Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 2:27 am

RE: Wrongful Death Suit Filed On Behalf Of Obese Woman

Fri Feb 01, 2013 4:59 pm

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.
 
Superfly
Posts: 37735
Joined: Thu May 11, 2000 8:01 am

RE: Wrongful Death Suit Filed On Behalf Of Obese Woman

Fri Feb 01, 2013 5:16 pm

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
 
WestJet747
Posts: 1950
Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2011 7:43 pm

RE: Wrongful Death Suit Filed On Behalf Of Obese Woman

Fri Feb 01, 2013 5:38 pm

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.
 
dc9northwest
Posts: 2142
Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2007 5:33 am

RE: Wrongful Death Suit Filed On Behalf Of Obese Woman

Fri Feb 01, 2013 5:53 pm

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.
 
aloges
Posts: 14842
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2006 3:38 am

RE: Wrongful Death Suit Filed On Behalf Of Obese Woman

Fri Feb 01, 2013 5:54 pm

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.
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
 
RussianJet
Posts: 5982
Joined: Sat Jul 21, 2007 4:15 am

RE: Wrongful Death Suit Filed On Behalf Of Obese Woman

Fri Feb 01, 2013 5:59 pm

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. ✈
 
WestJet747
Posts: 1950
Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2011 7:43 pm

RE: Wrongful Death Suit Filed On Behalf Of Obese Woman

Fri Feb 01, 2013 6:00 pm

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.
 
AR385
Posts: 6734
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2003 8:25 am

RE: Wrongful Death Suit Filed On Behalf Of Obese Woman

Fri Feb 01, 2013 6:04 pm

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?
 
aloges
Posts: 14842
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2006 3:38 am

RE: Wrongful Death Suit Filed On Behalf Of Obese Woman

Fri Feb 01, 2013 6:12 pm

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.
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
 
Kiwirob
Posts: 9846
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 2:16 pm

RE: Wrongful Death Suit Filed On Behalf Of Obese Woman

Fri Feb 01, 2013 6:17 pm

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.
 
Bongodog1964
Posts: 3069
Joined: Wed Oct 18, 2006 6:29 am

RE: Wrongful Death Suit Filed On Behalf Of Obese Woman

Fri Feb 01, 2013 6:21 pm

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   
 
AR385
Posts: 6734
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2003 8:25 am

RE: Wrongful Death Suit Filed On Behalf Of Obese Woman

Fri Feb 01, 2013 6:40 pm

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?
 
aloges
Posts: 14842
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2006 3:38 am

RE: Wrongful Death Suit Filed On Behalf Of Obese Woman

Fri Feb 01, 2013 7:09 pm

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

The article says that her health deteriorated while she was in Hungary.
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
 
User avatar
WildcatYXU
Posts: 2602
Joined: Sat May 06, 2006 2:05 pm

RE: Wrongful Death Suit Filed On Behalf Of Obese Woman

Fri Feb 01, 2013 7:16 pm

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.
310, 319, 320, 321, 333, 343, 345, 346, 732, 735, 73G, 738, 744, 752, 762, 763, 77L, 77W, 788, AT4, AT7, BEH, CR2, CRA, CR9, DH1, DH3, DH4, E75, E90, E95, F28, F50, F100, Saab 340, YAK40
 
AR385
Posts: 6734
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2003 8:25 am

RE: Wrongful Death Suit Filed On Behalf Of Obese Woman

Fri Feb 01, 2013 7:27 pm

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.""
 
aloges
Posts: 14842
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2006 3:38 am

RE: Wrongful Death Suit Filed On Behalf Of Obese Woman

Fri Feb 01, 2013 7:36 pm

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.
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
 
MD11Engineer
Posts: 13916
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2003 5:25 am

RE: Wrongful Death Suit Filed On Behalf Of Obese Woman

Fri Feb 01, 2013 7:45 pm

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
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
AR385
Posts: 6734
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2003 8:25 am

RE: Wrongful Death Suit Filed On Behalf Of Obese Woman

Fri Feb 01, 2013 7:50 pm

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.
 
Gatorman96
Posts: 795
Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2005 2:22 am

RE: Wrongful Death Suit Filed On Behalf Of Obese Woman

Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:04 pm

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
 
Type-Rated
Posts: 3901
Joined: Sun Sep 19, 1999 5:18 am

RE: Wrongful Death Suit Filed On Behalf Of Obese Woman

Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:20 pm

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 avatar
hOMSaR
Posts: 1333
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:47 am

RE: Wrongful Death Suit Filed On Behalf Of Obese Woman

Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:33 pm

Original thread, for those searching:

Too Fat To Fly, Passenger Kicked Off 3 Flights (by LFutia Nov 26 2012 in Civil Aviation)
The plural of Airbus is Airbuses. Airbii is not a word, and doesn't even make sense.
 
Lufthansa411
Posts: 345
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2008 12:54 am

RE: Wrongful Death Suit Filed On Behalf Of Obese Woman

Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:13 pm

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.
 
lewis
Posts: 3564
Joined: Thu Jul 08, 1999 5:41 am

RE: Wrongful Death Suit Filed On Behalf Of Obese Woman

Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:43 pm

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.
 
lewis
Posts: 3564
Joined: Thu Jul 08, 1999 5:41 am

RE: Wrongful Death Suit Filed On Behalf Of Obese Woman

Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:48 pm

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]
 
Bongodog1964
Posts: 3069
Joined: Wed Oct 18, 2006 6:29 am

RE: Wrongful Death Suit Filed On Behalf Of Obese Woman

Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:00 pm

Quoting lewis (Reply 24):
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.

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 pounds, this woman however is one of the most obese specimens I have ever seen, and would have been consuming food at an alarming rate.
Of course they all claim that the "hardly eat a thing" but in reality would eat the sofa if there was nothing left in the fridge, people believing their ridiculous stories doesn't help them.
 
lewis
Posts: 3564
Joined: Thu Jul 08, 1999 5:41 am

RE: Wrongful Death Suit Filed On Behalf Of Obese Woman

Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:05 pm

Quoting bongodog1964 (Reply 25):
Have you looked at her photo ? obviously not,

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 say how much weight a patient can get from fluid retention and other medical issues that come with her condition?
 
Bongodog1964
Posts: 3069
Joined: Wed Oct 18, 2006 6:29 am

RE: Wrongful Death Suit Filed On Behalf Of Obese Woman

Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:36 pm

Quoting lewis (Reply 26):
Are you in the medical practice or qualified to say how much weight a patient can get from fluid retention and other medical issues that come with her condition?

I work very closely with the medical profession, and dispose of their mistakes ! Fluid retention is a common problem in people with poor circulation and we see it quite frequently. whilst this woman may well have suffered from fluid retention, it was not the cause of the vast majority of her weight gain. Its over eating, pure and simple. Additionally the majority of fluid retention tends to be in the lower limbs, as the body just can't move it back up.
 
itsjustme
Topic Author
Posts: 2727
Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2004 6:58 pm

RE: Wrongful Death Suit Filed On Behalf Of Obese Woman

Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:31 pm

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 lot of comments regarding her health ("too sick to fly", "should have stayed in Hungary and gotten the necessary treatment there", "gained extensive amount of weight after the flights got her to Hungary from the U.S", etc...). I've also seen one or two comments about her possibly being a "greater risk than an average passenger". However, assuming what I have read is accurate, none of the airlines named in the suit told her she was a flight risk due to her weight or poor health. Again, I am not an attorney but I do know a little bit about contracts and it appears to me that each of the named companies made a contractual agreement with her to transport her from A to point B and each failed to fulfill that agreement.
 
zruda
Posts: 633
Joined: Wed May 24, 2006 4:42 pm

RE: Wrongful Death Suit Filed On Behalf Of Obese Woman

Sat Feb 02, 2013 4:50 am

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 while health care is not perfect, you certainly dont need to be afraid of it and in some areas it is even on the world's top level. The doctors here studied the same human bodies and functions as those on the other side of the globe. Poor lady, but I must blame her stupidity of flying around the globe with a health condition. No one gets a kidney failure and morbid obesity during one night... I hope the airlines will go just fine out of this trial.
there is no coincidence
 
Bongodog1964
Posts: 3069
Joined: Wed Oct 18, 2006 6:29 am

RE: Wrongful Death Suit Filed On Behalf Of Obese Woman

Sat Feb 02, 2013 7:23 pm

Quoting itsjustme (Reply 28):
Again, I am not an attorney but I do know a little bit about contracts and it appears to me that each of the named companies made a contractual agreement with her to transport her from A to point B and each failed to fulfill that agreement.

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 your mental or physical state or health is a danger or risk to you, the aircraft or any person in it.

You can be certain that all the other major carriers have similar conditions, and they would all in this example be able to find countless doctors who would state that the ladies condition made flying extremely dangerous to her health.
 
itsjustme
Topic Author
Posts: 2727
Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2004 6:58 pm

RE: Wrongful Death Suit Filed On Behalf Of Obese Woman

Sat Feb 02, 2013 11:02 pm

Quoting bongodog1964 (Reply 30):
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 your mental or physical state or health is a danger or risk to you, the aircraft or any person in it.

You can be certain that all the other major carriers have similar conditions, and they would all in this example be able to find countless doctors who would state that the ladies condition made flying extremely dangerous to her health.

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, none of the airlines named in the suit refused to transport the woman because of her health. None of them said, "I'm sorry ma'am, we don't think you're physically fit to fly" or, "I'm sorry ma'am, we feel your physical state is a danger or risk". Instead, even though each airline had prior knowledge about the woman's size (and even if they didn't have prior knowledge, they could sure see her size first hand at several points prior to allowing her to board the aircraft), a boarding pass was issued and, with the exception of the Delta flight, the woman was allowed to board. And the only reason she didn't physically board the Delta flight was because they didn't have the proper wheelchair available to transport her. That sure sounds to me like none of the named airlines deemed the woman a "danger or risk".

From the article:
The couple was to return from Hungary to the U.S. on a KLM flight departing from Budapest on Oct. 15, 2012. The lawsuit states that the couple was issued boarding passes and boarded their flight.

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.

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. Lufthansa medics and local EMS/firefighters helped Mrs. Soltesz into her row of seats.

The lawsuit states that at every instance, the airlines were told and reminded of Vilma's condition by both the travel agent and the couple.
 
Quokkas
Posts: 1327
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2012 5:51 pm

RE: Wrongful Death Suit Filed On Behalf Of Obese Woman

Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:28 am

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 4):
Isn't that what medical insurance is for? Should've gotten that or not travelled.

Just about all medical cover in travel insurance policies comes with exclusions like: pre-existing medical conditions unless specifically agreed to by the insurance provider; travelling against medical advice; and, failing to take reasonable precautions to minimise circumstances that could give rise to a claim. Domestic health insurance policies often do not provide cover while overseas.

If they bought insurance and did not obtain clearance for their condition; obtained a policy by deception or failing to notify the insurance provider of something that would affect cover being offered; or travelled against the advice of medical practitioners; and refused medical treatment that could have prevented the death, then it is quite possible that the insurer would not make any payment related either to that condition or death.

Note, I am not saying that they did any of these things or whether they had insurance or not, just commenting on the obligations would-be travellers have when purchasing cover and the exclusions most, if not all, policies have. Always read the fine print and if you can't afford cover, you can't afford to travel.
“Not to laugh, not to cry, not to hate, but understand.” Spinoza
 
User avatar
WildcatYXU
Posts: 2602
Joined: Sat May 06, 2006 2:05 pm

RE: Wrongful Death Suit Filed On Behalf Of Obese Woman

Sun Feb 03, 2013 5:07 am

Quoting zruda (Reply 29):
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 while health care is not perfect, you certainly dont need to be afraid of it and in some areas it is even on the world's top level.

Tell that to my father in law...
310, 319, 320, 321, 333, 343, 345, 346, 732, 735, 73G, 738, 744, 752, 762, 763, 77L, 77W, 788, AT4, AT7, BEH, CR2, CRA, CR9, DH1, DH3, DH4, E75, E90, E95, F28, F50, F100, Saab 340, YAK40
 
User avatar
DocLightning
Posts: 19571
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2005 8:51 am

RE: Wrongful Death Suit Filed On Behalf Of Obese Woman

Sun Feb 03, 2013 5:54 am

Quoting itsjustme (Reply 28):
However, assuming what I have read is accurate, none of the airlines named in the suit told her she was a flight risk due to her weight or poor health.

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 a physician (admittedly, I'm a pediatrician, not an internist, so this sort of case isn't my strong suit), here is my assessment of the situation:

We have a patient in end-stage chronic renal failure who is dialysis-dependent for survival and this patient is in such a state due to diabetic nephropathy (kidney damage due to diabetes). Essentially ANY such patient will necessarily have other multiorgan dysfunction. There will be pulmonary edema, congestive heart failure, liver dysfunction, and possibly edema of the GI tract. Right there, I would inform a patient that they were not fit for travel that would cause a disruption to their dialysis schedule.

The article, IIRC (spotty internet) states that she did not get dialysis during her trip. That explains the massive weight gain that occurred. I'm sure that while celebrating holidays with her family, she did not strictly observe her low-sodium, low-potassium diet that such patients must carefully follow. Usually, such indescretions can be accommodated for with the next dialysis treatment, but without access to dialysis, the overall physiology just worsens. I will point out that, from what the article says, she died "before arrangements could be made" for their return. That means probably less than 48 hours after all of this happened. In other words, she was most likely going to die whether she'd made the flight or not.

Arguments about whatever lifestyle choices (diet/exercise) might have gotten here into diabetic renal failure in the first place are irrelevant. However, the plaintiff's negligence in caring for her own health during her travel contributed significantly to her death. Alternatively, if they were doing this with her physician's blessing then the physician should get a malpractice suit.

An interesting quote from the article:

Quote:
"We believe the suit is entirely without merit. After the operating carrier in Budapest was physically unable to board Mrs. Soltesz on its flight, and despite a determined good-faith effort by Delta in Prague, we were also physically unable to board her on our aircraft on Oct. 16.," Delta said in a statement.

This is very unusual since it is typically corporate policy at most companies to not publicly comment on pending litigation because any public statements can be used as evidence in court. I wonder why Delta commented in this case.
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
-Carl Sagan
 
AR385
Posts: 6734
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2003 8:25 am

RE: Wrongful Death Suit Filed On Behalf Of Obese Woman

Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:02 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 34):
if they were doing this with her physician's blessing then the physician should get a malpractice suit.

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 from engaging in irresponsible behavior? I say this because a close family member is in the early stages of senility and it is very frustrating to get that person any treatment. We can´t declare that person incompetent yet, but the person won´t listen to advice from us or the doctor.

I guess as a pediatrician you can always call the authorities, but in the case of an adult individual, what do yo do?
 
User avatar
DocLightning
Posts: 19571
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2005 8:51 am

RE: Wrongful Death Suit Filed On Behalf Of Obese Woman

Sun Feb 03, 2013 7:21 am

Quoting AR385 (Reply 35):
However, please tell me (no sarcasm, I´m really interested) in knowing how much can you as a doctor do to prevent your patient from engaging in irresponsible behavior?

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 legally, I can't control my patients outside of the office, of course. However, when the patient acts against medical advice, that protects the physician in a malpractice suit. The physician cannot be held legally responsible if it is documented that the patient did not seek or went against medical advice.

In these situations, I carefully document the advice I gave the patient and I document that I informed the patient of the risks of non-adherence to my advice and what those risks are. In this case, the risks would be further organ damage leading up to either more permanent severe disability (eg. brain damage) or death.

This is very difficult for a lot of physicians to accept (we tend to be control freaks). It's very difficult for a lot of physicians to understand that at some point, you have to document what was said and done and then throw up your hands and let fate sort out the rest.
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
-Carl Sagan

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Aesma, BR076, PacificBeach88, Pihero and 30 guests