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Passenger Claims Against Airline For Back Injury From Seating Arrangement

Posted in: Public Transport 

A passenger has taken legal action against Etihad Airways after he claims he suffered a lasting injury after he was sat next to an obese passenger on a long-haul flight. 

James Andres Bassos from Brisbane claims that his flight from Abu Dhabi to Sydney in 2011 has caused a back injury, as a result of being forced to contort and twist his body in order to escape contact with the allegedly ill and obese passenger next to him. 

Personal Injury Claim 

The obese passenger allegedly spilled out of his seat and into Mr Bassos’s space forcing him to sit in an unnatural position and exacerbate an old injury. He also claims that the obese passenger was not fit to be flying as a result of liquid coming out of his mouth 

The 38-year-old who was granted a crew seat after 5 hours for just over 90 minutes before being forced to go back to the seat is seeking to claim $277,000 due to the injuries and medical costs he suffered as a result of the incident. 

Although the claim has been made an Etihad spokesman stated that the company would fight all charges and that the health and safety of all passengers were paramount and that they did not tolerate unruly behaviour on their flights. They also attempted to have the case thrown out of court however a judge ruled that there was no reason that Mr Bassos did not have a right to make a claim and that he could not win said claim. The spokesman said:

“Etihad Airways will continue to oppose the action and now that Mr Bassos will finally face a medical assessment in December 2015, as directed by court, we believe that the matter will proceed to an early conclusion.”

Can You Make a Personal Injury Claim?

This flight claim, which began in 2012 could be seen as a landmark case and could change the way personal injury claims are conducted regarding air passengers as well as a result in a change of seating policy. The outcome of this case could be significant in the number of personal injury claims we may see. 

It is possible to make a personal injury claim if you are injured on public transport as a result of negligence or recklessness. If you are injured, you could be entitled to make a personal injury claim. One of the most vital aspects of making a personal injury claim on transport is showing a court that you were entitled to expect that you should not have been hurt and that you have evidence to support your claim.

When making a personal injury claim, it is important that our team of solicitors have as much evidence as possible such as where, when and how the incident occurred. As well as this any medical evidence or witness accounts you can provide should also be used.

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If you require legal advice following an accident on public transport, or to get representation from our skilled team of personal injury lawyers, contact us today using our online contact form


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