Every so often we hear about extremely turbulent flights, many of which even cause injuries when people aren’t properly buckled in. For example, in 2014 we saw footage of an American Airlines flight enroute from Seoul to Dallas encounter severe turbulence, causing the flight to divert.
Usually injuries as a result of turbulence arise from people not being buckled in, causing them to sustain physical injuries.
However, the Daily Mail has the story of a different type of injury that supposedly resulted from a February American Airlines flight departing Guadalajara:
The 44-year-old was returning from a work trip in Guadalajara, Mexico, on February 27 when his flight to the American state of Arizona hit a thunderstorm.
Dr Winchester said the turbulence was ‘violent’ and caused him to lose consciousness twice.
He said the injury was so severe, doctors told him he was lucky there was no turbulence on his connecting flight to Australia, as he could have had a fatal brain haemorrhage.
He now also suffers from neck, head and back injuries, whiplash, concussion, severe headaches, post-concussive syndrome, tinnitus, vision problems and mental health issues, according to a writ filed in the Victorian Supreme Court on Thursday.
His wife, Monash University academic Tiffany Winchester, was also suing the airline, claiming nervous shock and mental injuries, including insomnia, depression and panic attacks, over her husband’s injuries.
It seems like the reason he’s suing is because the airline didn’t provide him medical attention after the flight, even though they offered and he rejected it. He thinks they should have insisted:
Dr Winchester said after the flight, he told cabin crew he was not feeling well and at first declined medical help, but then he had trouble balancing as he left the aircraft.
He believed that’s when staff should have insisted on getting paramedics.
I certainly feel bad for his condition. I would have never expected turbulence as such could cause a brain injury to occur without a pre-existing condition (then again, I’m not a doctor).
If I’m understanding this correctly, his primary complaint is that they didn’t force him to get medical attention, rather than the turbulence as such (which is sometimes unpredictable and unavoidable). Could the flight attendants really have forced him to get medical attention when he rejected their offer?
What do you make of this story?