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Aussie surgeon sues airline after jamming finger

February 13, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

An Australian brain surgeon is suing an airline after the little finger of his right hand allegedly became jammed in a plane’s foldout tray table during a long-haul flight in business class.

In a statement of claim filed in the Queensland Federal Court and quoted by the Sydney Morning Herald, neurosurgeon Dr David Walker said he was flying with Austrian Airlines from Brisbane to Manchester in England via Bangkok and Vienna, when the tray table, which folded out from the armrest, trapped his finger.

The claim says that on the Bangkok-Vienna leg, cabin crew folded out the tray table to serve an in-flight meal but they did not return to retract it afterwards.

Walker was unable to recline his seat with the tray table in place so tried to retract it himself, whereupon it allegedly snapped back suddenly without warning.

“The fifth finger on the right hand of the Applicant became jammed in between two of the parts of the horizontal tray-table resulting in severe pain and injury,” the statement of claim states.

It says the doctor, with the help of his son, managed to extract the finger from the mechanism but the injury and pain caused the doctor to briefly lose consciousness.

Walker says he suffered a fracture, soft tissue and other injuries, He was left with a permanent disability, anxiety, depression and loss of income, with continued loss of income and medical expenses in future.

The Sydney Morning Herald said it had tried to contact Walker, Austrian Airlines and the Australian lawyers for both parties, but they had either declined comment or not responded.

Written by Peter Needham

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