Man Sues Airline for Making Him Sit Next to 'Obese' Passengers


'As a result of the fact that American Airlines failed to reseat him or even offer a viable alternative, he suffered bodily injuries by contorting his body within the cramped space caused by the intrusion of the grossly obese passenger sitting next to him'.

(Daily Telegraph) A CASE involving a man who was squashed painfully in his seat during a 14-hour flight could have ramifications for economy seats on all airlines.

The Wollongong man said the discomfort - which aggravated his existing scoliosis, a condition which causes twisting of the spine - led to lower and upper back injuries as well as bruising to his neck. A lawsuit seeking more than $100,000 in damages says the airline refused to allow him to change seats.

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According to the court documents, Taylor says that the bodies of the passengers next to him "spilt over and encroached" into his seat and had to "stand up, crouch, kneel, and lean forward" during his 14 hour flight. "The airline could have put me in a crew seat or moved people around but they did nothing".

Taylor's lawsuit states that he was seated in the window seat, but complains about "two" obese passengers squeezing the plaintiff.

"I don't hold any malice towards the people in the seats next to me - they'd paid for a ticket too", Taylor said. "One each occasion, he was refused and rebuffed", Jansen said, as quoted by

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A spokesman for American Airlines told that the airline is aware of the suit and said: 'We just received the lawsuit and we are reviewing the allegations'.

"Given the small amount of area that passengers are afforded particularly when they fly in economy, and for that to be invaded by another passenger, the Montreal Convention we contend is relevant in this matter", he said.

Also in April, an American Airlines flight attendant challenged a passenger after nearly hitting another passenger, and a Delta customer was removed from a flight for going to the bathroom before takeoff.

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Adding, 'American Airlines has recently announced that they are removing up to two inches of leg room in some passenger seats in the Economy class cabin in their new passenger aircraft.