American Airlines Sued By Passenger for Obese Seatmates

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We’ve seen several recent stories about incidents with passengers that have been occurring including a United Airlines Passenger Dragged Off Plane Due To OversellDelta Kicks Off Family of 4 from Flight from Hawaii, and United Airlines Send Paris Bound Passenger To San Francisco.

The latest story to emerge is an American Airlines passenger is suing the airline after being forced to sit next to two obese passengers on a flight from Sydney to Los Angeles. This occurred on a full Boeing 777-300ER aircraft with no other seats to move to.

American Airlines

Per The Independent,

An Australian man is suing American Airlines  for $100,000 AUD after he claimed he was injured by being seated next to two passengers he described as “grossly obese” on a long-haul flight. 

Michael Anthony Taylor, from Wollongong, New South Wales, is seeking hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages after he claims that he was left with permanent back and neck injuries because he was crushed by the passengers beside him during a 14-hour flight from Sydney to Los Angeles. 

The passenger claims he has been left with permanent damages, as the airline wouldn’t accommodate him with another seat, as he was pinned in the window seat for this 14 hour flight. I guess there’s a reason that you might want to choose an aisle on your next flight.

A spokesman for American Airlines told Fox News via email that the airline is aware of the suit, adding, “We just received the lawsuit and we are reviewing the allegations.”

However this incident occurred back in December 2015, over two years ago, so why a lawsuit is just being filed now could raise some question, but I’m sure after seeing Dr. Dao’s settlement with United for being dragged off, we may hear about how other passengers were mistreated by airlines in the past who are looking for a settlement.

Feel free to share your thoughts on this lawsuit below.

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  1. Er…December 2015 isn’t over two years ago, unless you’re from the future or I’m in it!

  2. Takes him 2 yrs to file, so I guess his so called “injury” must not have been that important. He also could have asked to take a different flt before take off. I’m all for everyone having their space, but speak up immediately, not 2 yrs after the fact. He’s looking for a quick payday from seeing the latest videos. Hope AA doesn’t cave on this and pay him.

  3. I’ve always said they should have the last row of the plane be 1st class style seats for 1.5x the coach price. No extra leg room, but plus size seats for plus sized people. This gives the people on the plane that need the room the ability to affordably pay for it. I can’t see a whole lot of people paying more for the last row of the plane(ie skinny people buying these). Any non plus sized people could probably do better buying Big Front Seats on spirit.

  4. Are there any consequences for the fat person that took up two seats ?
    If the airlines kick a family off for a two year old having her own seat/ what about the fat woman taking two seats ? Why didn”t you kick her off ?

  5. 2 years is s good time. He went to doctors and specialists to seek help. But it turns out to be PERMANENT AND CANNOT RECOVER AFTER 2 YEARS.

    I would trust him more than someone who sues for permanent injuries the next day.

  6. If you have been injured in a car accident and settle early they tell you that you cannot come and seek further damages if other issues follow.

  7. You know the “sizer” they make you stuff your carry on in? All the chairs in the gate area should be made the same size as the airline seats. sort of BUTT sizers. If you can’t fit buy another seat

  8. Lawsuits take time to be “filed” because the process first requires the lawyer to negotiate with the insurance adjuster or defendant. They also need to accumulate the medical treatment records–and they often wait until the treatment has completed or has been underway for significant time so that they are not speculating on the medical costs. For all we know they may have been in mediation already. Unless you’re a lawyer, don’t judge how long it takes for a lawsuit to be filed because you don’t know all that happens in a case before you hear about it on the news.

    Making overweight people pay more is not an equitable or just solution. If seats were not abnormally small and abnormally tight, they could accommodate a variety of people. Economy seats on airplanes have become too small and tight to be safe for any passenger anymore. No matter who you are, economy seats today are designed so that you can’t even walk out of your seat to evacuate in an emergency because you would not be able to stand up straight and walk out without depending on the other passengers to move. Seats are too small for most people to keep their arms within their space without conscious effort–this makes it obvious that the problem begins with the airlines intentionally designing seats that require effort to keep your body immobilized.

  9. Airlines do need to come up with a solution to plus-sized people flying in economy seats, where they simply don’t fit. It’s other passengers who end up paying the price when the large people spill over into their seats. All the way from Australia to LA is way too long a flight to have to put up with this. Clearly, the two large people needed at least three seats. Sorry if that inconveniences them but how on earth is it okay to inconvenience – or even harm – a regular-sized passenger instead?

  10. Thank you Cristina for your comments! In this day and age it is nice to read comments that are kind, and intelligent!!

    I agree with the seat and leg room on American Airlines are getting smaller and more uncomfortable but the prices are decreasing. I fly to CA from IN to see my grandchild several times a year and it takes me a total of 11 to 12 hours to get there with the layover time included. The flight that typically takes 4 hours is horrible to have to sit through.

    Give us more leg room at least!!!

  11. Making larger people pay more is entirely fair and the most equitable things you can do. Flights are based off space and weight vs fuel.. It costs more to fly a 300# person than a 100# person. Airlines should pick a weight, say #400. Your ticket gets you that much weight.. If you and two pieces of luggage are under than, then you fly for your purchase price, if not then just like excess weight baggage you pay more. It’s fair to the flyers as you can adjust as you need to.. Weigh less, get more luggage, weigh a bit more, you get less luggage, but all fair under the weight to fly and fuel consumed.

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