An Australian man has filed a lawsuit against American Airlines alleging that he suffered injuries after being forced to sit by two obese people for a 14-hour flight, according to a Sydney Daily Telegraph report.
Michael Anthony Taylor, a 67-year-old resident of Wollongong in New South Wales, told the Telegraph that the airline would not let him switch seats during his flight from Sydney to Los Angeles, so he spent the entire duration of the flight “crouching, kneeling, bracing, or standing.”
The flight was December 28, 2015 on a Boeing 777 where all 310 seats were occupied. Taylor is seeking $US100,000 in damages, according to a report from News.com.au. It’s unclear why Taylor is just now filing the lawsuit.
According to the report, Taylor sat in the window seat, but the passengers next to him breached his space. Taylor told the Telegraph the seating situation made his scoliosis worse and caused back injuries.
Taylor reportedly said that the airline could have moved him to a crew seat or asked others to move, but instead did nothing.
However, U.S. federal regulations do not permit passengers to sit in jump seats, which are the seats airline attendants sit in during take-off and landing.
In a statement to Business Insider, an American Airlines spokesperson said: “We just received the lawsuit and we are reviewing the allegations.”
The airline industry has come under fire recently following the forcible removal of 69-year-old David Dao from United Airlines flight 3411 on April 9.
Dao, who was travelling from Chicago to Louisville, Kentucky, was dragged off the flight by Chicago Aviation Police and was taken to the hospital for injuries he suffered during his removal. Dao settled with United Airlines for an undisclosed amount on April 29.
Also in April, an American Airlines flight attendant challenged a passenger after almost hitting another passenger, and a Delta customer was removed from a flight for going to the bathroom before takeoff.
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