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Urine-soaked flight drives passenger to sue airline

October 20, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

If you are beginning to suspect that the era of in-flight decorum and gentility is vanishing, your misgivings will be reinforced by a bizarre new case of alleged boorishness, endurance and extreme dampness, soon likely to be aired in court.

It certainly needs to be aired somewhere.

A man has filed a lawsuit against United Airlines, claiming the airline did not do enough to help when a drunken passenger urinated on him during a transcontinental US domestic flight earlier this year.

Daniel Card, of New Jersey, claims he had to endure a whole flight from Los Angeles to Newark (a flight generally lasting about four hours and 45 minutes) in urine-soaked clothing because the airline allowed an obviously intoxicated man to board the flight. The lawsuit further alleges the airline made no effort to intervene as the man relieved himself on Card’s leg, New York’s The Gothamist reports.

The suit, lodged on Card’s behalf by New Jersey legal firm Einhorn, Harris, Ascher, Barbarito and Frost, says that on 12 June 2017, Card boarded United Flight 1871 from Los Angeles International Airport bound for Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey.

Upon boarding the aircraft, Card was seated next to an unidentified male passenger who the lawsuit names only as “John Doe”, a generic anonymous name used in legal proceedings. The suit says John Doe “was heavily intoxicated prior to entering the flight, and had fallen into a drunken stupor sitting next to Card”.

The following is extracted directly from the lawsuit:

While sitting next to the intoxicated passenger, Card noticed that a powerful odor of alcohol was emanating from the passenger’s breath and body. As the flight was getting ready to take off, the passenger seated in 24E took out his penis, and aimed it at Card and proceeded to urinate all over Card’s leg, while Card was confined to his seat due to an imminent departure of the flight.

Upon being soaked in the passenger’s urine, Card further noticed that the odor of the urine also emitted a powerful scent of alcohol.

Shaken and disturbed by these events, Card attempted to wake the passenger from his drunken stupor to make him cease, but was unable to wake him due to the extent of the passenger’s intoxication.

To this point, all flight crew members on United’s staff had not taken any action to intervene on Card’s behalf. Accordingly, Card was forced to notify the flight attendants, and requested that his seat be moved. United initially refused Card’s request to relocate his seat to avoid the continued humiliation, assault and inhumane experience of sitting in urine-soaked clothes on a urine-soaked seat.

After repeated requests, Card was subsequently moved to another seat. Upon information and belief, the seat where Card was relocated to was occupied by a friend traveling with the passenger. Card was then forced to endure the remainder of the flight to Newark, New Jersey, while remaining in his urine-drenched clothing.

United failed and refused to change the flight itinerary as a result of the assault and thus risked the health and safety of not only Card, but also Doe and various other passengers on the flight.

Upon landing at Newark, both Card and “John Doe” were interviewed by the FBI, when the assailant allegedly said that he’d blacked out after consuming at least four rum and cokes at LAX.

Card is seeking unspecified damages from the airline for negligence, breach of contract and emotional distress.

The Gothamist said representatives of United had not responded to a request for comment. United did respond, however, to Fox News, saying: “We have not yet been served with this suit and due to the pending litigation involved in this matter, we’re unable to provide further comment.”

Written by Peter Needham



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