A man is suing the American company Southwest Airlines for $US49,000 (£32,000) after a big suitcase fell on him while he was waiting for takeoff. Jerry Reinhardt suffered a compressed disc after the incident in January last year, The Oregonian reports.
The paper says Reinhardt was sitting in his seat on a Las Vegas-bound trip at Portland International Airport when he was “clobbered” by an “oversized suitcase.” Apparently another passenger and a flight attendant were trying to squeeze the case into the overhead hold when it fell on Reinhardt.
Reinhardt has written a detailed account of his unfortunate experience in a lawsuit filed with the Multnomah County Circuit Court. In it, he says the airline is at fault for letting the passenger on board with a carry-on too large for the storage above seats.
The Oregonian adds that Reinhardt is asking for $US10,000 (£6,680) in medical expenses, $US5,000 (£3,340) for lost income, and $US34,000 (£22,696) for pain and suffering. His lawsuit also says he has experienced strains and tears to his muscles, which have caused headaches, dizziness, and other complications.
Mashable cites a 1998 study by the Flight Safety Foundation that estimates 4,500 people are injured every year by falling baggage. It adds that although lawsuits are rare following accidents of this nature, there are lawyers who specialize in “overhead bin malfunctions.”
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